Mattix creates pathways for students

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Mattix creates pathways for students

Carrer Pathway specialist Rod Mattix picks up the spare in the league tournament. He finished that night below his normal average.

Carrer Pathway specialist Rod Mattix picks up the spare in the league tournament. He finished that night below his normal average.

Photo by Ryan Miller

Carrer Pathway specialist Rod Mattix picks up the spare in the league tournament. He finished that night below his normal average.

Photo by Ryan Miller

Photo by Ryan Miller

Carrer Pathway specialist Rod Mattix picks up the spare in the league tournament. He finished that night below his normal average.

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BEING a standout employee doesn’t take much  if you’re a natural at the job. Greeting everyone, one person at a time, every single day might seem impossible. Every day, Rod Mattix greets every student with a smile on his face, either with   a wave or a fist bump. A warm welcome can make a student feel right at home.

“It’s fun and it’s a good way to show people that I’m a good guy and that I care about people and that goes a long way,” he said.

His actions have made an impression on one of his fellow administrators, Career Education director, Rusty Hensley.

“Down here at our end of the building we have me, Mrs. Baker, and [Mattix], every single morning around 7:45 we’re somewhere,” Hensley said. “Usually, Mrs. Baker and I are at the rail in the cafeteria, and he kind of just migrated down there, he’s welcomed everybody in every day which is a great thing.”

The Career Pathway specialist is a job that provides help to students in career classes.

“[I’m] still learning about a lot of this stuff, but I’m just assisting the students that are involved in the career areas like machine shop, auto technology, things like that,” Mattix said.

According to sfcollege.hiretouch.com, the description of a Career Pathway states, “Career Pathways promotes Career and Technical Education (CTE) and provides a roadmap to connect high school coursework to future career and college goals by blending practical hands-on experience with rigorous academic coursework. Career Pathways programs prepare students for further education, but also provide students with the skills for immediate employment.”

With the idea of getting students into the workforce, programs have made it easier to get jobs and experience.

“We have our apprenticeship program going on at Belden with Wetzel, and now this spring, some of our career & tech ed students, if they do not have a job, we’ll set something up and get them out there or we can possibly get a job set up for them before they graduate,” Hensley said.

Mattix used to be the high school pitching coach at RHS for assistant principal Josh Amyx, and had a good connection with the students one-on-one.

“He was phenomenal, he was able to take kids that haven’t pitched and turned them into pitchers. I know this about Mr. Mattix, he cares deeply for kids and is a fierce competitor that’ll bring out the best in kids,” Amyx said.

When baseball is not in season, bowling is his favorite sport to play as a pastime.

“I love bowling,” Mattix said. “My dad was a bowler and it was something I grew up with. During the winter I use bowling as an outlet, my highest scored game ever was 299, never cracked 300, I’ve had two 299 games.”

He bowls in a league on Thursdays at Legends Lanes at 3919 National Rd. W.

Bowling, and sports in general, have been in the Mattix family, making a positive impact all around.

“I have a brother who bowls, I have nephews and nieces, and the whole family, we’re all very active and sports oriented,” Mattix said.

After Rick Wedlow left this past year, Hensley attempted to find someone over the summer to fill the gap.

“When the career pathway specialist was posted I was looking for someone that had experience with students, possibly someone that had experience in our community because we’re looking for students so that we can get them jobs and get them out into the workforce,” Hensley said. “He has worked in the school system, so he already knows a lot of the students that were here so that was a good selling point for me.”

This year, Mattix has impacted a few students by helping them get an internship.

“We’re working on internships for some students, as an example we have nine students starting tomorrow [January 18, 2019] at Belden,” he said. “It’s fun and it’s a good way to show people that I’m a good guy and that I care about people and that goes a long way.”

When you are around the system for so long, you leave an imprint on people and change relationships.

“I think Mr. Mattix is not only a good professional, but he has proven himself as a very loyal assistant coach and a very loyal friend,” Amyx said.

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