Neil Schlagel, the new JAG teacher, has been satisfying appetites for years. As the former co-owner of a restaurant, he is now stepping into a role full of people hungry for knowledge.
Schlagel came from the business scene into the classroom. A graduate from North Dakota State University, and former co-owner of the Blue Note Bar & Ballroom in Winsted, Minnesota, he now teaches students, many of whom are eager to learn from him.
JAG is a career focused class where the students explore the skills necessary to obtain, and
keep a job. They work on every aspect of the job process, focusing on searches and how they affect the community as well.
“I feel that my experience helps me in the classes that I’m teaching,” said Schlagel. ”I am getting the ideas across better than if they were out of a book.”
The students recognize that Schlagel has a lot to offer.
“Schlagel lived a business man life,” said Senior Nate Pierce. “It feels like he knows the world, and that makes for a better learning environment.”
“When he’s asked a question, you can see him absorb it fully before he answers,” said Senior Cameron Rudenick. “He’s definitely a unique guy.”
At his former job he had many things to worry about. Schlagel said that teaching brings its own array of stressful pieces. He goes on to say that judging how much time he should allow for assignments and activities in the classroom is difficult.
“The stress level is very high right now, being a new teacher,” said Schlagel. “There are different kinds of stress, for example at my old job I was responsible for paying my employees. I was in charge of part, or all, of their income. I found myself worrying about work when I wasn’t there.”
The faculty at the school also realize that they have found something special when it comes to Schlagel.
“He has a fresh perspective on talking to students, having been a small business owner himself,” said Assistant Principal Brandon Prel., “You don’t know how to describe things to people unless you’ve lived it, and Schlagel certainly has.”
“When you think of the students as customers you can treat them in the same way,” said Schlagel. ”On the flip side, students can see themselves as employees. I can be aware of what they want and need, to learn.”