‘Teacher Feature’ in HVAC-R

Throughout this first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students have been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have all asked, “How are you going to teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and have come up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with this new learning platform.     

The next featured teacher from BCCTC is Mr. Dan Ostronic, HVAC-R Instructor, SkillsUSA Advisor and active member of the Beaver Valley Contractors & Suppliers Association.  

‘Mr. O’, as his students refer to him, started off this nine weeks with OSHA-10 training and interviewing techniques, utilizing Career Safe for both activities.  In addition, his students have learned the theory behind the operation of a furnace and the process that it undergoes so that it operates properly. 

So that students relate to the online videos and demonstrations that Mr. O show and explains to them, pictures of their own furnaces are taken and shared with the class.  This allows for an in-depth online discussion of: 

  • different makes and models of furnaces 
  • problem solving of recurring issues, if any 
  • placement of the filters 
  • size variations of filters 
  • gas vs. electric heating 

Mr. O says, “You know, this school is cool. If a student learns a trade, they’ll never be without work. I think that is the best statement I could ever make to any student that is out there because it’s a fact.” 

Mr. Ostronic is a former career & technical student from A.W. Beattie CTC, located in North Allegheny.  He participated in SkillsUSA, a CTE student organization and because of his sheet metal ability in high school, being 1st in the State of PA allowed him to compete at the national level where he earned a 2nd place finish overall.  In addition, Mr. O was a cooperative education student, starting his HVAC-R career during his senior year. Now?  Not only does he teach our program, but during his personal time, he runs his own HVAC business as well.  Some professional advice from Mr. O since we are heading into cooler months?  “Check your furnace filter and if it hasn’t been changed in the last 3 months, you may want to have it changed.” 

Looking forward to having you back in the building, HVAC-R students!  When you do return, Mr. O is going to have you install a furnace, make it start and then run for a period of time.  Sounds like you will have the warmest program in the building!  Until then…  please stay safe! 

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