Randy Boyd radiates enthusiasm.
“When a kid’s confidence is improved I’m happy,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “Kids feelings and accomplishments are real important to me.”
Boyd is the new shop teacher at the Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School. A native of Southern Illinois, he grew up in Anna-Jonesboro and attended Shawnee College in Ullin. For the next 30 years he taught welding and construction occupation at the Vienna Correctional Facility in Vienna. Hired at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school years, he jumped into teaching a whole new age group of students.
Boyd encouraged student participation in remodeling the shop area, with the students building new welding booths, assisting in window replacement, building an electrical work station and lots of painting.
The program offered to students is very comprehensive for a school this size. Welding, both basic and intermediate, basic woodworking, basic sheet metal work and basic residential wiring are among the subjects presented.
The Auto CAD or computer aided drafting program includes manual drafting as an introduction to drafting. The carpentry program exactly follows the curriculum offered in the Southern Illinois Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program taught by CJAP in Belleville. Incoming freshmen are introduced to the shop programs in their GITA class which introduces students to a sample of all of the subjects taught in the shop programs. This allows the students to choose the areas in which they wish to continue throughout High School.
The curriculum taught in the High School shop program closely follows that taught at SIC, often allowing students to earn college credits while in High School.
“I like to break it down for them.” Mr. Boyd stated, adding, “For me, that’s how I learn best and that’s how I teach best.”
Several local businesses have been helpful and generous with donations of tools and materials for the renovation of the shop area and raw materials necessary for class projects. Among them are American Coal in Harrisburg, Barnes Lumber in Harrisburg, O’Keefe Lumber Company in Carrier Mills, Tractor Supply Company in Harrisburg and Thornton’s Auto Crushing in Carrier Mills.
“The teachers here are so helpful and so kind, They really have strong feelings about the students,” Boyd said.