Karl Ruff

City/Region:
Seattle
Country:
USA
"They are learning how to think and how to think ahead. And that’s exactly what they’ll need as project managers."

Karl Ruff

Teaching Students How to Succeed

More than a year ago, Karl Ruff, a Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher at Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, USA, approached the local PMI chapter with an idea.

Karl had worked at Boeing for 16 years before becoming a teacher; that was his introduction to project management. Now, engaged with high school students every day, he felt passionate about teaching life skills they could use like communication, collaboration and cooperation. Karl knew the way to do that was through project management.

He came to the PMI chapter meeting to ask for volunteer mentors—and he got several, including Suzi Ward-Webb, PMP, a Project Management Consultant at Bridge Partners Consulting who has served as his mentor ever since. Suzi helped Karl implement a pilot program at his school. Now, they are nearly halfway into year-two of partnering students with PMI mentors and engaging those students in project-based learning.

Through project management, the students are teaching themselves. “They are learning the new 3Rs: relevance, relationship and rigor. They are learning how to think and how to think ahead. And that’s exactly what they’ll need as project managers.”