SALEMBURG — With a tape measure, seniors James Sinclair and Brandon Tanner checked the length of a wooden bench inside a shop at Lakewood High School.
Thanks to the handiwork, which involved the work of many students taking carpentry classes, the sturdy seat will be used to help their teacher send a group of students to Europe in the future. All of the proceeds from a raffle will go towards the trip.
“We’re basically building it free of charge,” said teacher David Locklear about the students in the carpentry class, one of several Career and Technical Education (CTE) offered in Sampson County Schools.
“These kids are having a hard time understanding the concept that CTE is important,” he said while stressing the significance of the field.
And sometimes students feel they’re not going to be successful if they don’t go to a four-year college to study fields such as law or medicine.
“That’s not the truth,” he said regarding choices after high school. “And it does not mean that you can’t have a successful career.”
Some of the skilled trades and business opportunities available through CTE include automotive technology, electrical contracting and architecture.
Through the guidance of Locklear, the students enrolled in the beginners course technically titled, Core and Sustainable Construction, students learn about safety, basic tool use. Some students walk in thinking it’s going to be a breeze, but Locklear mentioned how some students are shocked when they realize how much math is involved. In the Carpentry I and Carpentry II, students take their skills a step further with gaining knowledge about how to build things their hands, reading blueprints, weather proofing.
“They actually built a roof last week and put the shingles on it, Locklear said about the Carpentry II students.
For the next project, the students will set up a building near the concession stand for the band program, which will be used to cook food. Currently, the carpentry students are looking for a senior’s home to weatherize for a hands-on project.
“That’s where they start working together as a team,” he said.
Sinclair and Tanner knows a lot about teamwork through taking his classes.
“He makes us work hard, get our heads into the books and tries to get us into the shop,” Sinclair said about working with Locklear.
Sinclair remembers building a plaque for his teammates from the football team and building a bond with other students in the class.
“When I was in here last year, we all were brothers,” Sinclair said.
Now in his second year, Locklear, a former construction professional, took students on several field trips during his time at Lakewood to see how carpentry works in the real world. One of the trips included a trip to a construction site in Jacksonville on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
“They learned a lot of things they have been taught in the class,” Locklear said. “That’s one of the things we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get the kids employable ready.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.