SYRACUSE — During the annual Wawasee Building Trades Banquet Thursday evening, May 9, at Wawasee High School it was another example of the impact an educator can have on students. Ed Waltz, building trades instructor at Wawasee for more than 25 years, is retiring at the end of the school year and several people talked about the impact he has had on students.
Don Bokhart of the Wawasee School Board said it is clear to him Waltz built relationships with his students. “As educators, that is something we want to do is build relationships,” Bokhart said.
Jamie McAdams, who teaches the Geometry in Construction class some students take before entering building trades, said there will be a huge void at Wawasee without Waltz. He said some of his students take his class and then go on to learn more from Waltz. He presented Waltz with the Building Trades Golden Hammer Award.
Jose Carrillo, a current building trades student, thanked Waltz for giving him an opportunity to work with Milestone Construction after graduation and “for teaching me some life lessons.” And Jon Everingham, director of the Pathways program, said “you won’t meet a nicer guy in education,” speaking of Waltz.
Waltz was presented a check by the advisory board and also given a couple of gifts by students with a humorous twist, one being a rocking chair and the other a walker.
Wawasee and Fairfield building trades students were recognized during the banquet. First year students, usually juniors with some exceptions, are given jackets and the second year students, seniors, are given sweatshirts.
Wawasee students are building a house for Jeff and Jennifer Phillips on CR 950E near North Webster. Fairfield students are building a house for Jon and Carly Everingham on North East Shore Drive near Syracuse.
First year building trades students for Wawasee are Michael Casebere, Zackery Elliott, Jesus Malagon, Jeremy Napier, Christopher Pena and Garrett Stuckman. Peyton Maul is a Columbia City student working with the Wawasee students. Second year students are Gage Beezley, Bradley Briar, Jose Carrillo, Jacob Carson, Jessica Cole, Joseph Garza, Ronualdo Hernandez and Chad Robison.
First year building trades students for Fairfield are Randy Allen, Charles Becker, Tristan Bender, Peyton Gall, Peyton Hendrix, Tyler Satoski, Chase Westenfelder and Dakota Wools. Second year students are Stephen Babin, Cameron Mitcham and Sawyer Stuckman. Jeff McClure is the building trades instructor for Fairfield.
Each instructor gave brief comments about their students as they were given their jacket or sweatshirt.
Jacob Carson and Jose Carrillo were given the Student of the Year Award for Wawasee, while Sawyer Stuckman was named Student of the Year for Fairfield.
Building trades students for both schools were given door prizes including tape measurers, a ratchet set, hammers and others.
Dan Bauer, Pathways culinary arts instructor, and his students catered the meal for the banquet.
Wawasee’s open house will be held May 29. More details will be announced later.