This archived article was written by: Kara Heaton
When I heard that Stan Martineau, one of the automotive teachers at the College of Eastern Utah, made jewelry, I instantly wanted to interview him. After all, I make my own jewelry, so interviewing someone who shares the same interest would be interesting.
What he had to say about his jewelry was inspiring. He told me that one year, he decided to take a lapidary class through CEU continuing education. Lapidary is the art of cutting, polishing and engraving precious stones. He “wanted a new hobby,” so he took something that interested him. After the lapidary class, he decided to take a silver smith class, even though he knew nothing about silver. He put those two classes together and started making jewelry.
He shared with me his philosophy, which is obviously connected with CEU. He said, “If you like going shopping, or to the movies, or playing arcade games, Price is not a good place to come. But if you like to watch sunsets, or see deer, or go out into the country, Price is the place to go. Other schools don’t offer classes like the ones we do here at CEU. I make jewelry to show people you can take classes you want and then do what you want.”
As I learned more about Martineau, I found out he took a mediocre automotive departments in the state and made it nationally recognized. One way he has done this is by holding after-market classes. He brings in high school automotive instructors and automotive businesses, and tells them what the department is about. He now gets students from most, if not all, the schools that come to his classes.
Many of Martineau’s students have made it to state competitions, and even on to nationals. In 2006, out of the students Martineau took, six or seven were placed in the top ten. About 1,600 students attend nationals every year. “In the automotive department, we aren’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone,” he said. Also, he showed pictures of his students; many have gone on to be teachers, managers and assistant managers at automotive stores.
Continuing questioning Martineau, his love for his students came out. He commented on how he respects his students and what they want to do. He showed me a picture of the president and vice president of the automotive club; both were female.
“Part of the college program is learning to be good people. That’s why we have service projects,” Martineau said. Every year, the automotive department holds fundraisers for different causes. One is their annual dinner, held inside their shop.
Another he told me about was when a student was in an accident and didn’t have any insurance, so the department held a fundraiser and raised about $800 for their friend. Martineau told me of a seminar that they held for children with disabilities. They showed them around the shop and had stations for the students to learn facts about automobiles. Their teachers could take what they learned and apply it in mathematics, science and other areas.
As I left, he showed me some of the awards, plaques and trophies the department has earned over the years. He showed me an award that has only been given out twice in the last 15 years and his department got one of them. He showed me a trophy that was for the top three automotive programs in the state, and various other plaques that declared the department was the best in state and is a master-training facility.
But where did he pull these awards from? A cluttered shelf. “We don’t have a display case for these, so we have to just put them whereever there is room,” Martineau said.
Why does one of the best automotive departments in the state not have a display case to show off their accomplishments? Because Martineau is too busy training automotive students to be the best.