PDT Staff Writer
John Williams used to be shy and reserved. Then he went to Washington D.C. and spoke before legislative aides to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown about Carl Perkins Funding which funds vocational schools. He took a course in public speaking, and now he has become an eloquent spokesperson for the Masonry program at Scioto County Career Technical Center.
“I’m the South-Central Regional Treasurer,” Williams said. “They taught me how to speak better and they taught me leadership skills.”
Friday morning, he was proudly working with his instructor, Larry Moore, and other students putting the finishing touches on the installation of bricks honoring past and present members of the U.S. military.
“This goes clear back,” Williams said. “There’s a few Civil War, there’s World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom clear to today.”
Williams said the group had been working on the wall for about three weeks.
“I’m proud of this. I’m a member of the Ohio Army National Guard. And this makes me real proud,” Williams said.
Moore has roots in the SCCTC as well.
“He went to the Scioto County Career Technical Center (then the Scioto County Joint Vocational School) in the 70s,” Williams said. “He graduated and got into the field. Now he’s teaching the class.”
Students working on the project include Kaleb McHenry, Bennie Jenkins, Robert Jordan, Treyci Comer, Tyler Roush, Aaron Robinson, Howard Robinson, Tyler Robinson, Cody Acree, Tyler Vest, Derek Arthur, Marcus Robinson, Alexander Beamon and Josh Mullins.
Jim Saddler of Post 23 said bricks were $33 each and cost approximately $28-$29, with the difference going to the future project which will be murals representing each of the branches of the military.
“All the past commanders of Post 23 are getting a brick in their honor and it’s going to be underneath the murals,” Saddler said.
Saddler said Juanita Robinson was the chair for the project.
“Juanita really worked hard getting this project done and it’s not done yet, but it will be,” Saddler said. “School is out, but we expect Larry Moore and a couple of his students to volunteer to come back next week to finish the project.”
Williams continued to stir the mortar.
“It has been real fun,” Williams said. “There are people all the time walking by thanking us. Like today, there were two ladies who came by and thanked us and said that right now we don’t realize how important this is, but in the future we will.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.