Students hone their craftsmanship with new tools while updating a valuable district resource
More than two dozen students taking millwork and cabinetry classes at Lee High School got a chance to show off their newly acquired skills recently, thanks to a donation that came with a special request.
Grant Hollingsworth, the brother of the late Marcile Hollingsworth, for whom the district’s Hollingsworth Science Center was named, donated $5,000 to make renovations to the center’s greenhouse, with the stipulation that the work be performed by district students.
Lee students constructed 10 tall wooden plant beds and one wooden storage unit for use in the greenhouse using brand-new hand tools such as saws and sanders that were purchased with a portion of the money.
“This is a win-win situation, particularly for young ladies who may not have felt they had a place in this industry,” said Lee HS teacher Johnny Brooks. “The big thing to me is to make sure these students get exposed to as many opportunities as possible. Most kids have no idea what careers are available in the skilled trades, but they can make excellent money and be in great demand.”
Brooks noted that his school has ongoing partnerships with two of the top millwork and cabinetry companies in the world—Brocksteins and Madera Works of Texas—and that several members of the past two graduating classes have landed jobs or internships there. One rising senior, Jennifer Lopez, is also working out details of a scholarship to Pittsburg State University, which has one of the most highly regarded degree programs in woodworking in the country.