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New Salem - March 21, 2007

Counselor’s Corner

Dr. Gaylynn Becker, LPCC
National Certified Career Counselor
National Certified School Counselor
New Salem High School

Career Speaker!
What is it like being an “Auto Collision Specialist”?

Richard Bahm spent part of his spring vacation from Bismarck Public Schools with New Salem High School Students. He shared some of his experiences and insights working in the auto collision field with students in Mr. Shawn Feiring’s Agriculture Education III and IV Classes.

He also shared with us some of the things that influenced his decision to work in the auto collision field. His early experiences working at restoring a vehicle helped him realize what he was interested in and what he would be good at doing. Mr. Bahm now teaches auto collision to interested students through the Bismarck Public Schools Career and Technical Education Department.

(There are pictures in the actual newspaper at this point.)

We found out that people in this line of work can make more than the general hourly rate. Auto collision specialists who can do a 3 hour job in 2 hours can get paid the 3-hour rate in only 2 hours. During that 3rd hour, the specialist can then begin on another job. So in a 40-hour workweek, it is possible to get paid for 50 or more hours of work. Of course, if the car comes back because it wasn’t done correctly, then the auto collision specialist redoes the job without additional pay. So, doing things correctly in the first place is important. Is there something to be learned here about doing homework correctly in the first place?

Two places in North Dakota that offer training in “Auto Collision” are:
1. Bismarck State College in Bismarck
2. North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.
Thanks to Richard Bahm for taking his time and sharing with us his insights and knowledge about being an auto collision specialist. Also, thanks to Mr. Shawn Feiring for allowing us in his classroom.

Summer Career Exploratory Opportunity!
New Salem High School students who would like to find out more about auto collision can get some hands on experience this summer by taking a summer school course. Students who participate receive Bismarck High School credit and there is no cost for the student. The slots fill up quickly so for more information on how to sign-up or get on the waiting list call the Bismarck Public Schools Career & Technical Education office at 224-5433.

I am currently working on getting a journalist in to talk to New Salem High School students about what it is like and what it takes to be a writer for a newspaper. I hope to arrange for a journalist to speak to our students prior to the end of the school year. Remember, community members who would like to join us are welcome. Please call either Mrs. Becker in the front office or me in advance so that we can plan accordingly.

For more information on career information and links, please go to If you have any questions on career, counseling, or assessment topics, please contact me at either New Salem High School at 843-7610, or at my residence at 222-3222.

Have an excellent academic day!