Tussey hires a teacher with hidden talents

By: Colton Butler

Filling a vocational vacancy made during the  2018-19 school year, Matthew Blackmon became the newest Tussey Mountain Jr/Sr High career technology teacher on August 21, 2019.  Additionally, Blackmon teaches STEM classes and a product design class. “My skill set is hands-on. The difference between my content and a history or English teacher is that we work with our hands, and we get to build and I get to go over the  other mediums, and the methods used to convey the information are different. We can create projects of our own,” explains Blackmon. 

Teachers come to Tussey Mountain in various ways and for many different reasons.  “I decided to become the metals teacher here because I thought it was a great opportunity to continue my career,” said Blackmon. “I also chose this position because I like to problem-solve, and I like to work with my hands. 

Mr. Matthew Blackmon assists Freshman Mason Chilcote in using machinery in the metal shop. Photo Credit: Colton Butler

Working with metals can be challenging.  “I am not used to working with metals because I had to take mostly woodworking classes. I had to teach myself to work with metals such as welding and [learn] to notch metal. The metal industry is always changing, and to run a successful lab, you need to change with the times or you are stuck in the past,” explains Blackmon.  

Regarding working with the students Blackmon says, “I don’t often have to punish the students if they go by the safety and the lab rules. The only time I really have to punish students is if they do something really bad and really dangerous.”  

Freshman Mason Chilcote says, “Mr.Blackmon shows us how to use and do things correctly, and he pays close attention to safety gear and if anyone is horseplaying in the lab and causing safety hazards for us. Mr. Blackmon is helping us work the machines and showing us how to weld correctly. When he’s not helping any other students, he tries to do his own thing to learn how to do it correctly.”

Blackmon is a man of many talents. Blackmon speaks English and German. “ I am nowhere near to being 100% fluent in German; I am always trying to expand my vocabulary as much as I can. I am learning German because I would like to teach in Germany. If I were to teach in another country, I would teach in Bavaria, Germany because I have visited there and the countryside is really beautiful. I also enjoyed Munich, which is a decently sized city.” 

Mr. Blackmon is a man with many talents, and we are really lucky to have him at Tussey Mountain Jr/Sr High School. 

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