Aerospace teacher Craig DeVine will be retiring after 18 years at Mountlake Terrace High School. Over his time teaching, he has overseen the MTHS Robotics Club and guided the STEM Leadership into the organizations they are today.
DeVine graduated from Washington State University and planned to be a professional engineer. He returned to college shortly afterward, getting a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington. He then spent 10 years working for John Fluke Engineering, later transferring to Northwest Spring Manufacturing in Redmond for another seven years.
Originally, DeVine didn’t plan on becoming a teacher. However, he joined the junior achievement program while at Fluke Engineering. There he visited various middle and high schools to teach economics once a week. He found that he thoroughly enjoyed every visit to the classrooms. After a number of years, the company he was employed at downsized. DeVine decided to try teaching full time. He was hired by the Edmonds School District in 2000.
DeVine has changed a lot based on what he has experienced at MTHS.
“I think one of the ways that I have grown is appreciating the many different perspectives that students have,” DeVine said. “As a teacher early in a career, in some ways you approach students as if they are like me. And, over time, of course, you come to realize that’s not always the case.”
As the years went by, DeVine applied this newfound knowledge to his curriculum.
“Over time, I came to realize how much students can take advantage of and enjoy freedom and flexibility in the projects and assignments that we gave… students could, in a sense, have more personal input in the direction of the projects,” DeVine said. “They really responded and began to do things that was much more impressive over the years.”
DeVine continued. “I began to realize that students would take projects in directions that I might not realize were available… often directions that I had not seen before.”
“This really changed the nature of the classes that I taught, they became more fun, more enjoyable, [students] learned mor, they were more excited about things they could do.”
“The kids loved it more, I loved it more too.”
MTHS has made a lasting impression on DeVine throughout his years.
“I have really been impressed with the students who are interested in math, science, engineering and technology,” DeVine said. “It has been a lot of fun to have students come in who have passions and abilities in these areas and take on good projects and are motivated in their learning and become part of the extracurricular activities like robotics, TSA, rocketry, etc”.
“I’ve also been very impressed with the staff here at MTHS,” DeVine said. “There are so many staff members who are very passionate about their role as teachers and who are creative and who are very generous with their time.”
He also appreciates the MTHS administration’s work toward funding the program. “Overall these years…the administration has been very supportive of the growth of STEM. The support that we have gotten is amazing.”
Now, DeVine can look back and reflect on his time spent here and is original decision to go into education after leaving his engineering career.
“This has been the best career decision I have ever made,” DeVine said. “And it has been hard, teaching has been a challenging role, but as hard as it’s been, it’s been very rewarding. I feel very fortunate to receive an opportunity to teach here.”
“Thanks to students, staff and administration that have been so supportive,” DeVine said, ”it has been a wonderful experience.”