industrial technology professor retires after 31 years in college | New
Anyone who took Tim Bestul’s industrial technology classes at Faribault Middle School may remember building a candy dispenser, pen holder, folding stool, and dragsters to run on a track in his classroom. .
The fourth son in a family of five boys, Bestul grew up in Winona and received a degree in industrial technology from Winona State College. Following in the footsteps of two of his older brothers, Bestul became a professor of industrial technology. After only two years in the field, Bestul said he knew his career would lead to his retirement.
This period of Bestul’s life comes to an end this school year as he prepares to retire at the very school where he began teaching 31 years ago, in the 1990-91 school year.
“The most interesting thing was the kids and just being able to teach them lifelong skills with woodworking,” Bestul said. “I think the challenges the college kids present are also what kept me going.”
Since many of Bestul’s students entered his class with no previous construction experience, he had to fill in the gaps. Until a few years ago, industrial technology was a compulsory course at Faribault Middle School. But since switching to what are now known as Gateway technologies, Bestul said most students who enroll in the elective course have already learned basic skills beforehand.
Each of Bestul’s current courses serves as an introductory course for three different levels at the college. The skills they learn in each Gateway to Technology course prepare them for the next one, functioning as a progression, he explained.
What distinguishes Bestul’s old industrial technology courses with Gateway technologies is the degree of student use of computers. His classes were more hands-on until 12 years ago, when students started using computers to design their projects. Gateway leads middle school students to Project Lead the Way in high school, which prepares them for college and earns them college credit.
When he started teaching at the college, which was previously a college, Bestul also taught ninth grade woods, a graphic arts class, and a photography class.
Bestul’s two daughters, Claire and Anna, both attended Faribault Middle School and took their father’s industrial technology classes. Now Bestul has said that Claire is an extension educator for the state of Minnesota and first made him a grandfather a few weeks ago.
During his retirement, Bestul said he plans to “take advantage of my granddaughter right now”. He hopes to spend more time hunting pheasant and working on his own projects. With his wife Janice, he enjoys refurbishing furniture.
“I think I will miss my colleagues and students,” Bestul said. “Everyone brings a different challenge each day, so I guess that’s probably what I’ll miss the most.”
A group of teachers from Faribault Middle School gathered on Tuesday to celebrate Bestul’s retirement. Some of them wore orange and camouflage outfits to honor him, as he is an avid hunter. Among those teachers was Amy Canfield, who said working with Bestul had been a pleasure.
“I joked that he’s probably taught most of the city by now, to which he laughed and said, ‘Maybe,’ Canfield said.“ But it’s true – there is had many student conferences where parents tell their children that Bestul was their teacher. It says a lot about a person’s commitment to a profession, a school, a city. He is “the salt of the earth” and will be missed in college. “
Robotics professor Matteo Barron said his work with Bestul over the past three and a half years has been wonderful.
“He has been an unofficial mentor to me in my own professional life and has given me much needed support,” said Barron. “It’s a highlight for many students throughout the school year as they learn real life skills and enjoy all the projects they get involved in. He will be sadly missed by students and staff.
Journalist Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.