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Jacob Pickielnok is a fixture at MSJ and Stafford

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

Jacob Pickielnok’s junior year at Mount St. Joseph Academy has been one project after another. Jacob attends MSJ while also being enrolled in Stafford Technical Center’s Electrical/Plumbing Program.

MSJ students are eligible to attend Stafford Technical Center to combine extended technical education with their MSJ classroom learning and student life experience. They may choose from any of the programs offered at Stafford, with many of these technical programs having articulated agreements, transcript credit and dual enrollment options with Vermont State Colleges, which allow students to earn college credits while at the technical center.

Jacob is in his third year at MSJ and he also attended Christ the King School. He is one of three MSJ students, along with William Li and Roahan McGee, who are currently taking advantage of the agreement that allows MSJ students to attend Stafford.

Jacob enjoys the mix of classroom learning and hands-on experience that he gets through this partnership. On odd days, students are in academic classes, such as math and history. Even days are program days where students are able to work on projects throughout the day.

Right now, Jacob is preparing for Skills USA, which is a competition for schools around the country. They are also doing the plumbing and electrical work on a house Stafford programs are building on Giorgetti Boulevard in Rutland. Additionally, students have had the opportunity to work on a Habitat for Humanity house and they sometimes get called on to do small residential projects like hooking up an appliance.

“Stafford gives you a start on whatever trade you want to be in. It really gives you a head start into the real world,” Jacob said. “Having the spiritual aspect of MSJ is good. I know when I am here, I can feel free to talk to whomever I want to. It really gives me a chance to learn about different kinds of people, meet people with different backgrounds and interests.”

Jacob plans to return to MSJ and Stafford next year as a senior. This summer, he is getting a jump on his college search by visiting University of Northwestern Ohio, where he is interested in the College of Applied Technologies. He is looking into their Diesel Technology and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration programs.

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