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Junior high shop class one of last remaining in state

Staff reporter

Cameron Butler works on the lathe during shop class. Butler has constructed many works of art throughout the school year, including pens, vases, and clocks.

One of the final remaining junior high shop classes in the state belongs to Mont Harmon Junior High. The program allows students to use their creativity to create various works of art throughout the year. In fact, the work that comes out of the shop is sold to individuals in the community who admire the talents of the students.

This year, students of Mark Carrillo's shop class have put together several projects that were entered into a state competition in which mainly high school classes compete. The work that came out of the shop was so refined that every student that entered the competition walked away with a ribbon for their work of art.

"A total of 70 projects were entered from Mont Harmon. We came home with several first, second, and third place ribbons. It was not a bad showing considering that we were one of the only junior high schools who competed in the event," explained Carrillo.

This year, students created everything from swings and picnic tables to wall clocks and pens. In most cases, the students supplies were paid for by individuals who wanted the students to build certain works of art which the individual would inherit after the project was completed.

Handmade wall clocks and vases decorate several countertops at Mont Harmon. Shop students spend many valuable hours creating works of art which are shared with many in the community.

"We sell the work to those who are interested for the amount that the material costs. It works out good for the students who sometimes can't afford to purchase the wood and supplies themselves," commented Carrillo.

Throughout the years, Carrillo has found that students enjoy the shop class mainly because it brings out talents and creativity that the students are not aware they possess.

"Students enter the class saying that they can't do something. But after a little practice, the students will find that they have it in them to create fine works of art," Carrillo explained.

While the shop class promotes creativity, it also allows students to explore career options that often times are overlooked. Although most students may not move on to become professional craftsmen, they may move on with a new hobby which will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

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