Calvin James Takes Helm of Building Trades at SCRTC

Calvin "Jerry" James is the new Building Trades Instructor at St. Croix Regional Technical Center. Mr. James also works as the CHS cross country and wrestling coach. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)

By Kaileigh Deacon


For a lot of the students at the St. Croix Regional Technical Center, the classes they take give them  skills and knowledge to pursue a career right out of high school. The building trades program gives students the chance to learn and practice the building skills that are used every day by people in the trade. 

This year, SCRTC students will have a new instructor in the building trades program. Calvin “Jerry” James. James is replacing Stan Sluzenski, who moved into the SCRTC director role. Mr. James is a graduate of Calais High School as well as the University of Northwestern Ohio where he received a degree in Automotive-Diesel. 

Mr. James gives a lot of credit to Don Barnes, the former instructor of the Automotive Program at SCRTC, for getting him into teaching. Mr. James had Mr. Barnes as a teacher in school and really enjoyed the mechanical hands-on aspect of the class. It was also Mr. Barnes who encouraged Mr. James to start substitute teaching. 

For the last twenty years James has been working in building construction as well  as a substitute teacher. Mr. James has also been coaching wrestling at various levels for the last twenty years. He is currently the Calais High School wrestling coach as well as the coach for the Downeast Wrestling Club. He was also hired as the Calais High School cross country coach. 

When he isn’t working or coaching, Mr. James likes to spend time with his family. 

“I really enjoy what I’m doing and really enjoy getting to know the kids. Once you get to know them it makes it easier to get through to them,” Mr. James said. 

Students who take the building trades class will get to learn what Mr. James has learned over the last twenty years, starting with the basics. They will get real life experience on working in the building trades and will learn what employers expect on jobs. Above all, how to do it safely.