Wood 2 students create benches with purpose

a teacher is helping a student measure a piece of wood Students in Don Waddell’s Wood 2 class at Monticello High School are honing their woodworking skills. The students – who range from sophomores to seniors – have progressed from creating birdhouses, which take six pieces of wood to complete, to benches and tables, which can take more than 100 pieces of wood. Wednesday morning, the buzzing of drills and the thuds of hammers rang out as the class braved the cold to put the finishing touches on a long bench.

a student is drilling into a table “In this second year of wood, they’re at the stage where the projects get more sophisticated and take longer to complete,” Mr. Waddell said. “But, it keeps their interest because they’re able to see the progress and the end result of all of their hard work. They’re using all the same techniques that they learned last year, but the designs get more specific.”

a student is working on a table Mr. Waddell’s classes are known for completing projects that are put to practical use. Throughout the years, his students have created pieces that not only rival the work of professional shops, but also serve the community. They have created podiums that have been donated to local churches, plaques that serve as headstone memorials, a store for the Cooke school and many more projects.

In keeping with tradition, the benches being created by the current Wood 2 students will also serve an impressive purpose: they’ll be used to complete an outdoor mindfulness area being planned for the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School.

“The mindfulness area will complement our wellness trail (Panther Path) as we continue to focus on student Social, Emotional Learning, emotion regulation and wellness,” said RJK health teacher and wellness coordinator Scott Cooper.

Great work, Wood 2!