Post Classifieds

MATC Instructor trades masonry for art

By Wendi Coon, Times Staff Reporter
On November 13, 2012

The Masonry Department Technical Diploma program is losing its keystone. Tom Pscheid, instructor of Bricklaying and Masonry at West Allis Campus, will be retiring at the end of this semester.
Pscheid has spent the past 24 and a half years teaching young adults the skills needed to make it in the backbreaking world of masonry. Before Pscheid began teaching at MATC, he spent many years working as a Journeyman Bricklayer, a job he would continue to do during the summer months for 15 more years.
Pscheid is married with four children, three girls and a son; none wanted to follow in their dad's footsteps but he is proud of the work they do. He has a sense of satisfaction as he drives by, or walks into a building he helped to create.
Pscheid laughs as he recalled when his children were young, they would groan and say, "We know dad... you built that one too," as he would point out buildings he had worked on. Some of those buildings are the Bradley Center, MATC Oak Creek Campus, St. Mary's Hospital, and North Division High School.
Pscheid is an avid artist, a skill he began developing over 22 years ago. He is best known for his landscape charcoal drawings. Many of his drawings have been on display at area galleries. With his approaching retirement, Pscheid is planning on having more time to work on his artwork, and travel around the country showing his work at various art shows.
When asked about how difficult the bricklayer course is, Pscheid replied, "Bricklaying is a very physically demanding job, which is very rewarding. The math aspect of the class intimidates many people." Pscheid could relate to his students because he too had struggled with mathematics. By teaching the techniques he developed to overcome those struggles, he feels that he can help students succeed. The other aspect of his course that seems to challenge his students is the start time.
Classes begin at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. Pscheid stated that he does this for two reasons: first, it is the standard start time for construction workers and he feels it's important to instill this in his students. The second reason is, many of his students work second shift; by starting early they are finished with class in time to get to work.
The one complaint Pscheid has is with some students' lack of commitment to the course. "They often work in teams and when fellow students are late or absent it affects the team's performance," said Pscheid. He did say that ambitious, motivated students are a pleasure to work with.
Today, Pscheid says he feels a sense of satisfaction when he sees his former students. Many are now journeymen, foremen, and/or owners of their own company; he is proud of them. Pscheid said, "Sometimes it's hard to recognize them after several years. Many were just teenagers when I taught them, but now they are gruff, hard working young men." He summed it up by saying, "For years, I have spent my time building buildings but now I help build careers."  

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Recent MATC Times News Articles

Discuss This Article



Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format