Karen Maynor: I had been in the engineering industry for almost 30 years, and even though I enjoyed what I was doing, I knew there was more out there for me to learn. I ran a small company, and I took a South Hills intern. Through that experience, I became familiar with the school and the internship program. Perhaps a year or so later, I saw an ad in the paper for an instructor in South Hills’ Engineering Technology program and decided to apply. I’ve been at South Hills for ten years now, and I wake up every morning, and I still enjoy it.
Karen: I think what my students would say is that I am passionate and that I do care and it does matter to me if you show up to class. It does matter to me if you do your homework and if you do your assignments. It matters to me that you have a good internship and that I spend time trying to find you the internship you need. Then, when students get job offers, I love that part of it…it’s the best part.
Karen: Our program gives our students exposure to architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering. The mechanical piece involves machining and CNC manufacturing. In architectural, there’s also a mechanical aspect; but, that’s more HVAC-related (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), and then we have civil engineering. Civil and architectural engineering tend to go hand in hand. We teach the students Technical Drawing, and the easiest way for a student to learn how to draw is starting with mechanical; so, we teach them how to draw in that discipline. Then they learn how to use the software. Next, they move into the more challenging drawing for architectural and civil disciplines. In the 2nd year of the program, we get them into the cutting edge CAD programs, Revit®, Inventor, Civil 3D, all of the programs that involve 3D.
Karen: I have an advisory board made up of volunteers from companies, employers, and people who own companies and engineering firms that come twice a year and we sit around the table, and we talk about what’s going on in the industry. We discuss things like what software and hardware are currently being used in the field and which skills are needed most by employers. That way, we can determine if a new class or technical skills should be included in our program.
Karen: I love teaching at South Hills. I’ve been here for ten years, and I wake up every morning, and I think, “I get to go and do something different every day.” I want to do the best I can for my students. I think what I love most of all is the people. I love the other instructors I work with. I love saying good morning to my students and getting to know them as individuals.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.