CHEYENNE – A joint project between high school students at Casper’s Pathways Innovation Center and Casper College faculty has led to the creation of exquisite, handmade wooden cutting boards with laser-engraved signatures of all five of Wyoming’s elected officials.
Twelve Pathways students each hand-crafted a cutting board out of thick strips of maple, walnut, cherry and ash – and each 17-inch by 14-inch board will be donated by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow to Wyoming charitable organizations as fundraiser items.
The boards were created at the Pathways facility with the help of instructors Joseph Martinez and Rob Hill. Casper College faculty Jason Eggemeyer and Paul Brutsman stepped in to help the students laser-engrave the boards.
Balow approached Hill with the idea for Pathways students to create a board that was unique to Wyoming, and its five elected officials after attending the annual conference for the Wyoming Association for Career and Technical Education (WACTE), where student-made products were auctioned off at the event.
“The Core Construction program at Pathways Innovation Center does community service projects each year,” Hill said. “When I was contacted by Superintendent Balow with the idea, I knew it was a perfect match for our students. We call these types of projects a win/win because students are learning and giving back to charitable causes, while being able to thank our leaders for their work.”
“The cutting boards were top bid-getters at the WACTE conference,” Balow said. “Rob was completely willing and enthused from the get-go to get his students involved.”
The project allowed Pathways students to interact with postsecondary faculty, as well as get hands-on instruction to new industry tools – something Hill said is important, as these students look toward their futures and decide what they want to do once they graduate high school.
“One of the most enjoyable pieces to this project was these were new students to the program who had never created something like this – and they did a great job while learning all of the new tools,” Hill said. “They were able to create something, knowing it would be in the hands of our highest level leaders in Wyoming.”
Michelle Panos, WDE Communication Director
Rob Hill, Pathways innovation Center