Marathon partnership connects schools, industry

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

During these past two weeks I have had the pleasure of working with Marathon Oil as a part of an Externship placing Educators with Industry in hopes of better connecting our school with business and industry. Our number one goal of the externship program is to help schools better prepare our students for the world of work. My experience was far beyond my expectations thanks to Wally Ward (Marathon engineer and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District graduate) and Brent Senette (Marathon engineer and Construction Superintendent for Marathon Oil) who helped me see and understand Marathon's vast operation on the Kenai Peninsula.

I had the pleasure of interviewing/visiting with over thirty Marathon employees ranging from the Beaver Creek Oil/Gas fields down to their cooperate office in Huston Texas. I was truly impressed with all of the men and women who work for Marathon Oil. Daily they focused on safety for all, protection for our environment, controlling costs and producing a product to heat our homes throughout the year. Their problem solving skills as a team get an "A+" from this educator.

I was most impressed with the manner in which they empowered all of their employees to be an important part of Marathon team and its operations. I was equally impressive to see them work hard in an effort to protect our environment and wildlife on the Kenai Peninsula. I believe their efforts were far beyond any State for Federal regulations. One Marathon employee made the following statement: "We do it because it is the right thing to do" when I asked him about their environment position. As an avid outdoorsman I truly appreciate that position.

Thank you Marathon Oil for being one of our leading industries on the Kenai Peninsula, for employing many of our families and for keeping us warm through our Alaskan winters!

Todd Syverson, Principal

Soldotna High School

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