“I felt speechless. It’s a great honor to be nationally recognized by my peers and to know that I’m helping make an impact on my students lives,” Electrical Trades instructor Mr. Raul Vasquez said.
On Dec. 12, Mr. Vasquez was named the 2011 National Electrical Instructor of the Year.
For eight years now Mr. Vasquez has been the instructor of electrical systems and engineering at MacArthur high school. The skills students acquire in his class help them achieve apprenticeships with city contractors, such as Bexar Electric, and become licensed electricians upon graduation.
Mr. Vasquez started as a student in his high school’s electrical program. After he graduated, he continued his career in electrical trades, which led him to his partnership with Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).
Working with IEC for fifteen years now, Mr. Vasquez and his peers have created an apprenticeship college for adults interested in taking courses in electrical engineering. Relating to his work for students in high school, Mr. Vasquez has also written portions for the Standard Textbook of Electricity and is a member of the National Apprenticeship Training Committee.
In retrospect, Mr. Vasquez’s accomplishments and hard work reflect on his students with several graduating with licences, apprenticeships, and valuable experience in the demanding field of electrical engineering.
Setting the premise for his nomination and attainment of the Instructor of the Year award, Mr. Vasquez is a member of the 2011 National Apprenticeship Chapter of the Year and one of the editors of the National Electrical Code-book. Above all, his dedication to his students has earned him national recognition.
“I think the (Electrical Trades) course helps students foster skills they can use for the rest of their lives,” Mr. Vasquez said. “Students that graduate have the option to continue their job with the contracting company and make $12-13 dollars an hour, or continue their education by attending a two or four-year college while maintaining their apprenticeship.”
This January Mr. Vasquez’s students will be competing in the “Wire-Off”; a UIL event that challenges students to build an electrical system after interpreting several blueprints. Looking forward to success, the students will be exposed to judges that will base their decisions off of accuracy and technicality. Alongside UIL competitions, the annual Habitat for Humanity work Mr. Vasquez and his students participate in is aimed to help residents in San Antonio and keep students active in their community.