Students Launch 2nd Skiff in Cape May, New Jersey. USA

On Thursday June 6, a collective group of (about 85) students from Mr. Suter’s classes launched their newest project boat at the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May thanks to the support of Captain Robert Bredehoft and the membership there.

                The actual craft is a St. Ayles Skiff designed to be built in kit form by the Scottish boat builder Ian Oughtred who has seen his creation distributed to clubs and schools worldwide.

                This boat is the second of 2 St. Ayles Skiff kits purchased from Hewes and Co. of Maine by our School District and the Maritime Museum of Cape May.  Christopher Kobik our superintendent saw these kits as a vessel (use the pun if you like!)  to engage students and let them experience long term cooperative learning in a manner they may not have access to later on.   I (Matt Suter- Special Education Teacher-28 years) am charged with overseeing the construction of the boat and implementing the build into my regular World Cultures classroom.

                The construction process has had to run at the pace of the students working on it as they have academic classwork to complete as well.   Part of my guidance was to have them focus on the specific job at hand, try something new and show them how what they are doing contributes to the whole and to trust the process.   It has been fun.

                I have dedicated this boat and build to Mr. Bill Noe and the boat will have his name.  Bill was also a Special Education teacher here at LCMR and really inspired me to not only become an educator but a forever learner as well.  Thanks Bill. 

                Both builds to date have been awesome to work on but absolutely could not have happened without my colleague, Kelly McConnell-Hussey, who has been there with me from the beginning.  Others who have been key players in support of these projects include Mark Haibach, Jeff Martin,  Roy Olsen and his fine crew, and our school administrative staff who have really provided me with all I need to keep going.  Which is great as our next build is a Caledonia Yawl sailboat!

 Matt Suter

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