Stewart happy with decision to teach
Teaching was never something that Pratt Community College instructor Rod Stewart saw himself doing.
Stewart started teaching classes in the Agricultural Power Technology program 13 years ago after being asked.
“You don’t get asked to teach at a college very often,” he said. “I was intrigued and it has worked out well.”
Before starting his career at PCC, Stewart was part owner at Greensburg Farm Supply for 21 years, where he sold AGCO and CARQUEST Auto Parts.
Stewart said that after graduating from Beloit Technical College he went to work at Greensburg Equipment and became co-owner of it after the original owner perished in a airplane accident.
Stewart worked both jobs until 2007, when he decided to give up the farm store.
While working both jobs, Stewart also found time to get his Associates Degree from PCC and then went on to Pittsburg State University, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Education.
The APT program had been in operation for one year when Stewart came on at PCC. He, along with a couple other workers at the college, spent time putting the program together. They focused on what they thought would best suit the student’s needs once they are in the workplace.
“The program was designed for students to get an education and go straight to work,” he said.
Stewart said the group thought many college students have a lot of downtime, so they designed a program that got rid of the downtime by having the students in class for eight weeks and in the work force for eight weeks.
When the program was designed Stewart said many people in the field needed workers and this helped fill that void, along with getting the students money during school.
Stewart said he thinks it has worked out well and said he still has the same goals he had 13 years ago for the students.
“My goal is to get as many students as I can into the workforce,” he said. “I like working with the guys to find a good suit for them in the workforce.”
Stewart lives in Pratt with his wife, Kathy, and has five grown children. When not at work Stewart said he enjoys tinkering on machinery and doing woodworking. He also enjoys spending time on the farm.