Mary Jane Clark LK '09

Mary Jane Clark LK '09 Coming to NBSS was a total career change for me. I had been a teacher of the visually impaired for more than 28 years. I taught many subjects including Braille, orientation and mobility, and technology and, in my spare time, I repaired Braille writers.

I lived in Massachusetts and was planning to move to Maine for a simpler life. Keeping my specialized teaching job would have required too much travel. Moving gave me the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill and reinvent myself.

I was originally interested in the Cabinet & Furniture Making program. After several classes, I realized that I was good at executing and following directions but not as good at the creative process.

On my first day of locksmithing I knew – this was exactly for me. I absolutely loved it. For my entire life I've been nursing my mechanical abilities and, with locksmithing, I could immerse myself in that clear-cut world where if something breaks, you fix it and the job is done. Teaching special education, although fulfilling in many ways, is never clear-cut and never completely done. I was ready for the change.

[Former] Department Head Dave Troiano was a wealth of information. He exposed us to a huge variety of things encountered in the field, and we were expected to master them. The program is very hands-on, very fast paced and very thorough. The wide variety of things covered is a huge plus. With Dave, you never stop being his student and, you never stop learning. It's a connection that doesn't end with graduation. You'll always have a hotline to him when you have questions in the field. I am not sure you would get that in other programs or in a correspondence course.

On my first day of locksmithing I knew – this was exactly for me. I absolutely loved it. For my entire life I've been nursing my mechanical abilities and, with locksmithing, I could immerse myself in that clear-cut world where if something breaks, you fix it and the job is done.

I couldn't say enough positive things about the school and this program. Locksmithing has allowed me to live in a beautiful place, have control of my work schedule and find a healthier balance in my life. The Locksmithing & Security Technology program gave me the skills I needed to begin a new career. This career change was not about making money, it was about improving the quality of my life, and NBSS has given me that opportunity!