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Building skills in carpentry

Contributed LEARNING — Dave Lucas is settling in as the new carpentry program instructor at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School. Lucas most recently served as an intervention specialist for Indian Creek Local School District but has a background in the construction field. He is enjoying his new stint and helping students prepare for success in the field. Lucas is pictured with seniors Brycen Miller, Landon Thomas, Keira Briganti and Damean Flenniken.

BLOOMINGDALE — Dave Lucas is helping students build upon their skills as the new carpentry instructor at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

Lucas, a Broadacre native who now resides in Colliers, most recently served as an intervention specialist in the Indian Creek Local School District but has experience in the carpentry field. He succeeds Steve Orwick, who retired this spring after 22 years, and is eager to help his nine seniors and 12 juniors prepare for the working world.

“It’s nice working with the kids. They get hands-on experience and get ready for the construction industry,” Lucas said. “The skills I’m teaching can actually earn them money.”

But the JVS holds significance for him since Lucas himself is an alumnus. He attended the school while a student at the former Wintersville High School and earned a two-year electronics certificate. After graduating in 1989, he went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in elementary education for grades K-8 with a minor in special education from West Liberty University in 2000 as well as a master’s degree in educational administration at Franciscan University in 2012. Lucas has worked with children of all ages as an intervention specialist and served at Indian Creek from 2001-10 and 2015-21, plus he served as a work-study coordinator with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center from 2010-15. He also has 20 years’ experience in the lumber retail field and 30 years in construction, which includes operating his own business from 2008-10.

Additionally, he is married and has a 14-year-old son. Lucas said he opted for a change and began his new stint on Aug. 19, and he is enjoying his time at JCJVS.

“I enjoy doing carpentry work with the students. I went to school here and thought it was a good experience,” Lucas commented. “I had good teachers and it prepared me for my future.”

He said juniors will get their feet wet by building sawhorses, birdhouses and toolboxes during the first semester while seniors will tackle larger projects such as the next modular home, and hopes are to begin the latter structure soon. For now, seniors are constructing interior walls, floors and decks. Meanwhile, Lucas leads the program with assistance from Mark Starcher and said he was pleased to be part of the JVS community.

“It’s a nice learning environment for the students and a positive environment for the staff. It’s a friendly climate and safety is also important.”

He also praised Supervisor/Principal Dan Hartman and Supervisor/Assistant Principal Andy Long for their continued support.

“They have been very helpful to me.”

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