Sheri Samson
Mineral County High School CTE students got the chance to put their book skills to work on renovating the school’s ticket booth.

Ladders, hammers, roofing materials and busy woodworking students took to the Mineral County High School ticket booth, located at the entrance to the stadium, as a recent renovation took place. The maintenance assistance was directly part of the Career and Technical Education program. Instructor Victor Montoya explained that the CTE students are hands-on upon reaching their advanced stage of the three-year commitment.

“I can oversee their work and guide them along, but for the most part they enjoy being out here working and seeing their book knowledge convert to skills at work,” Montoya admitted.

Montoya, previously an instructor with the JAG (Jobs for American Graduates) program, transferred his abilities to the woodworking classes this year, as his background included ten years working in the homebuilding industry in Las Vegas. With a focus on students learning to achieve a wide range of education, Montoya emphasized teaching students the ability to work within a trade as it transfers into skilled employment, which he said is “reality driven” these days.

Montoya assisted in accompanying 35 students from the Mineral County CTE program, combined with the high school’s JAG students, to attend a Construction Career Day, held at Reno’s Convention Center.

“Our students were encouraged to stay with a career-based education because it’s always something they can be employed in right away. Students from my classes were told that if they stayed with it, they could get a job in Reno with no problem. I believe in college, but I also know that learning a job skill can sure help a student during the down times or it can help fund their college dreams,” instructor Montoya admitted.

The three students working on the project for credit were second-year CTE student, Griffin Inman, nailing the composition roofing; Third-year CTE, Senior student, Juan Hernandez, on the ladder assisting with transferring materials and second-year CTE classmate, David Ditmer, cutting materials to correct sizing while maintaining the material count.

These students credited the school’s maintenance department, specifically Joe and Robert, in achieving the materials needed for their task. The serpent-colored paint was also provided to match with the nearby concession stand and other newly painted buildings.

Inman admitted to liking the outdoor work and the workshops from the local experts that explained nuances of recommended bench vices and other tools needed to complete our jobs when proudly showing that the inside and outside of the ticket booth would be completely renovated in style.

Montoya teaches two woodworking classes which involve the book learning portions, as well as identifying tools and utilizing items available in the classroom setting. There is also a “home maintenance” course which has been assisting other school maintenance needs, such as drywall and patching in the high school gym.

The students and instructor mentioned that donations of materials are definitely needed with 2×4’s, 1×4’s, plywood sheets, nails, paint, and tools being some of the items on their wish list.

“Even when it’s raining we can build things indoors and still be working on projects,” the students shared. Montoya mentioned that the students can also incorporate repairing or painting furniture, as well as incorporating community projects if proper materials are donated.

To make donations, please contact the high school office at 775-945-3332 so arrangements can be made.