Westside Middle School Engineering and Technology Teacher Wins Award

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Westside Middle School Engineering and Technology Teacher Wins Award

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Westside Middle School Engineering and Technology instructor Matt Bova was recently awarded the Nebraska Association for Skilled and Technical Science Teachers (NASTSE) Middle School Teacher Excellence Award. This award is given to one middle school teacher, one high school teacher and one entire engineering department.

Bova, who has been teaching at Westside Middle School for five years, said that this award will pay for the registration of an engineering conference that Bova would like to attend.

According to Bova, teachers had to submit their years of experience and what types of courses they teach. They need to show what kinds of technology were being implemented in their classrooms and why they felt they deserved the award. They also needed to include three letters of recommendation. Bova’s recommendations came from middle school principal Kimberly Eymann, middle school dean Daniel Carlson and a past professor of Bova’s. Bova recalled discovering a passion for working with his hands and designing at a young age.

“I grew up working on rental houses with my uncle,” Bova said. “We [worked on] properties that were in really rough shape, and turned them around into a nicer property. We worked on quickly figuring out a problem or finding affordable ways to fix things.”

When Bova reached high school, he said he continued to pursue his interest in this and took engineering classes.

“At one point I wanted to go into engineering as a profession,” Bova said. “I was planning on going into the military on a scholarship for civil engineering.”

According to Bova, he realized the thing he enjoyed most about engineering and design is building his creations himself. Bova then started to look for other job options in the engineering field.

“It was my Woods teacher who said, ‘Well, have you ever thought about becoming a skill and technical science teacher?’” Bova said.

According to Bova, being a Middle School Engineering and Technology teacher was his first job and he plans on staying with it for the long run. According to eighth grade student Evan Wedergren, Bova has great leadership skills and cares about his students greatly.

“It’s an interesting subject,” Wedergren said. “I think it’s really fun and the teachers are really good.”

According to Bova, his favorite part of his job is being able to share what he is passionate about.

“I’ve always loved working with my hands and designing,” Bova said. “I love tinkering. If there’s something I haven’t ever done I like to figure it out on my own.”

The NASTSE will present Bova with his award at the Nebraska Career Education Conference in Kearney on June 4th.