Education feature: Texico students helping complete shop facility

Courtsey photo: Terry Whitener Cesar Chavez, left, and Paden Hagler, right, weld together a new sheet metal storage rack. This is part of a project that is providing necessary tools for the school’s newly-modeled shop facility.

Benna Sayyed

Powers Hagler taught himself to weld as a youngster growing up on his family’s farm about four miles south of Texico.

Hagler, now a senior at Texico High School, supervises about 35 students in a project that is providing essential implements for the school’s newly-remodeled shop facility.

Started in early November, the project is expected to be complete in mid-May, according to Terry Whitener, vocational agricultural teacher at Texico High. The work is being completed by Whitener’s agricultural mechanics students.

“I like visioning something from the get-go,” said Hagler, who is Whitener’s aid.

“I like drawing it out, designing it, coming up with new dimensions, coming up with the materials you need, cutting it, building it and seeing the finished product.”

Hagler said he is a hands-on learner who enjoys welding and building most. He said his skills have increased tremendously since starting shop class in his freshman year.

“Every time around you might try to make a simplistic project have more definition, try to make it more elaborate,” Hagler said.

Portions of the project completed are new welding booths, a privacy wall, metal skirting for the plasma table, broom racks and a sheet metal storage rack.

Sabra Barnett, a Texico High junior, is in her second semester of agricultural mechanics. Barnett worked on the privacy wall and takes on multiple tasks around the shop. Barnett said the project taught her to weld, use a chop saw, take measurements and assemble building materials accurately.

“Working with the other students and seeing things get completed gives a lot of satisfaction in general,” Barnett said. “It’s been very fun.”

Whitener said the project teaches students to measure, weld, calculate material’s bills and listings, estimate building costs, draw plans, do precision cutting and fitting of building materials and maintain and repair equipment.

“It’s a lot of fun to work with these young people,” Whitener said, “and see them develop their skills in critical thinking, problem solving, math application, precision and accuracy.

Whitener said the completion of the project will allow students to learn more advanced skills in the remodeled wood and metal shops.