Senior Alex Corbett plans and starts Pathway office remodel


Photo by Adelee Wrightsman

Senior Alex Corbett works with carpenter Marty Peterson, from Cates Fine Homes, and freshmen Carson Bahr and Grant Heinert on the river epoxy conference table in the school’s woodshop room.

Adelee Wrightsman, Copy Editor

This spring, senior Alex Corbett has been chosen to take on the role of project manager for the schools Pathways office remodel. The remodel of the office, which is located in the school’s old ticket booth office in the cafeteria, will consist of building and adding new furniture, such as an epoxy river conference table and desks for the program’s coordinators Rachel Steil and Bob Manning. Other additions will include new flooring, fresh coats of paint and self-constructed built in storage with a workspaces for students.

Corbett’s first professional construction project was during the summer of 2020. Before then he had always known that he wanted to go into construction, but that job proved to him that not only does he want to be a part of the construction, but he wants to be the one running it and overseeing the job sites.

The idea of Pathways was introduced three years ago in 2018, but the program wasn’t launched to the student body until Jan. of 2020, during the class registration for the 2020-2021 school year. The goal of the program is to help students explore the opportunities of learning outside of the classroom, and help them get hands-on real-word experience. Corbett’s opportunity and project was created to fully encompass what the school’s new program is and what it can offer to its students.

Pathways coordinator Bob Manning explained that the reason he entrusted the project into the hands of a student such as Corbett, instead of an outside company, is because he wants the office to “showcase the program itself”, meaning that the new office will quite literally be built on what opportunities the program offers its students and what it is all about.

As the goal of Pathways is to help students get hands-on, out of classroom experience, Manning and Corbett both saw this as the perfect opportunity for Corbett to get the hands on experience that not only teaches him how to do his future career, but will also help him learn what to expect and what will be expected of him at his future jobs.


“He’s learning a lot and he’s, he’s killing it.

— Bob Manning


Corbett explained the reason he really wanted to do this project was because this remodel was the “perfect opportunity” for him to get the leadership exposure and experience he had been looking for. He then added later that he’s glad that while he’s learning, he is also helping expose what Pathways is really about to others. 

To help add to the out-of-the-classroom experience, carpenter Marty Peterson and interior designer Elaine Grossman, employees from Stillwater construction company Cates Fine Homes, volunteered to be the professional guides for the remodel. In traditional cases one would usually find the student following alongside the professional, but in this case, it’s the other way around.

Peterson commented that he admires the amount of self-motivation Corbett has, along with how willing Corbett was to just hop in and start helping around on the job site the two met at. Peterson also explained how Corbett “brings good energy” to the sites and that when he saw Corbett’s eagerness to learn right away, he knew he was the right fit for the job.

After committing himself to being leader of the boys varsity hockey team this past winter and as spring quarter came rolling in, Corbett had to figure out how to juggle his new responsibilities with being a co-captain of the boys varsity lacrosse team too. 

Manning explained that knowing Corbett in previous years and seeing his leadership skills on the boys hockey and lacrosse teams helped him to think of Corbett as a candidate for the manager’s position. Manning added to his explanation later saying how Corbett was “a good person to count on,” and after seeing him get this project moving, all he has to say about Corbett is how “he’s learning a lot and he’s, he’s killing it.”

As of now, Corbett’s future plans include getting a degree at some point, but his after high school plans are still up in the air about possibly going to NDSU as a freshman this fall. In the meantime he says he will continue working for Sunrise Design Construction through the summer, but does aspire to own and run his own company in the future.