Who's Who Top Educators

Michael J. Puetz

Title: Head of Lineman Training Department
Company: Mitchell Technical College
Location: Mitchell, South Dakota, United States

Michael J. Puetz, Head of Lineman Training Department at Mitchell Technical College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in construction and maintenance education.

With more than 25 years of experience to his credit, Mr. Puetz has excelled as the head of the lineman training department, a laboratory instructor, and the director for Power Line Construction and Maintenance program with Mitchell Technical College since 1998. In this position, he is responsible for managing equipment, mitigating breakdown risks, and ensuring that all of his students are prepared for their classes. In addition to his primary position, Mr. Puetz has been appointed to an industry advisory board that convenes semi-annually to deliberate on the curriculum and instructional content offered by Mitchell Technical College in order to ensure their teachings align with the frequently evolving demands of the industry.

Before embarking on his professional path, Mr. Puetz pursued an education at Mitchell Technical College, from which he graduated with a diploma in 1991. Soon thereafter, he refined his skills with five years of practical fieldwork prior to receiving the opportunity to teach by a former instructor. Though he believed that the role would be temporary, Mr. Puetz discovered an outstanding sense of satisfaction as an educator, having taught more than 1,686 line workers across his decades in the classroom.

Outside of his endeavors in academia, Mr. Puetz remains an active figure in his community, dedicating his time and support to local blood drives and food banks. Under his leadership, Mitchell Technical College’s Power Line Construction and Maintenance Program was recognized with the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award in 2018, which included a $50,000 scholarship grant to benefit their students. Moreover, Mr. Puetz is incredibly proud of his efforts as a family man, having been happily married for more than 35 years while raising two journeyman linemen who have found success in their own right.

Mr. Puetz has attributed his success to his traditional approach to teaching, which emphasizes the value of loyalty, work ethic, safety, and integrity in their practice while highlighting the importance of initiative. Among his many accomplishments, he fondly recalls witnessing the progress in the Power Line Construction and Maintenance program, including a doubling in enrollment and staff members, observing the subsequent success of his students following their graduation, and the opportunity to teach multiple generations of students. Looking toward the future, Mr. Puetz hopes to cement his legacy at Mitchell Technical College as he nears his eventual retirement.

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