• Last modified 1128 days ago (May 19, 2021)


Grad lands in field he envisioned

Staff writer

Derek Stuchlik, 2011 graduate of Marion High School, is now the engineer he said he’d be.

The son of high school math and science teacher Gary Stuchlik, his interest in math and science came naturally.

“He instilled in me a love of math and science,” Stuchlik said. “It always fit me well.”

He credits more teachers than his father with fostering his interest, though. Stuchlik said the school district’s willingness to do what it takes for students to be successful is part of the reason he was able to pursue his dream.

Specialized upper-level courses were instituted while he and another student were there because both needed them to reach their goals.

Four years after walking the stage at Marion High School’s graduation ceremony, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kansas State University with an engineering degree.

Although he’d done a summer internship at National Instruments in Texas and enjoyed it there, he wanted to settle closer to home.

He went to work at Burns and McDonnell and lives in Overland Park.

Burns and McDonnell is a multi-faceted engineering company. Stuchlik works in the energy group in the instrument and controls division.

“I still do a lot of gas and traditional energies and also green energies,” he said. “I just got done working on some wind farms.”

What his section does is design control systems in the plants.

“We build all that,” he said.

His hope for the future is to continue to work his way up in the employee-owned company.

“I’d like to move up into project management,” he said. “That’s kind of where I see myself.”

He said it’s not a single memory that comes to mind when he thinks of his high school days.

“Really for me, it’s the people, the way that the school is. The way they are willing to adjust,” Stuchlik said. “I’ve always liked coming back and visiting with the teachers I had.”

Although he’s had ups and downs with everything from school to work, he’s learned it’s good to help other people along the way.

Last modified May 19, 2021