Submitted by Daniel Espinoza, Eye of the Tiger reporter
Editor’s Note: beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, CHS is offering a vocational class in welding. Different from the metal working classes of the past, this is a four-year course of study (Welding I, II, III, IV) leading to certification as an entry-level welder. The curriculum includes MIG (metal inert gas), TIG (tungsten inert gas) and arc welding. Five classes, totaling 180 students, are being offered. Chaffey is only the second high school locally to offer a welding program. This story is taken from the Eye of the Tiger, the on-campus newspaper.
Often the best man for the job is a woman. Ms. Holly Adams will lead a new welding program, the first time training in the popular and well-paying trade will be offered at CHS.
Ms. Adams started welding in ninth grade. “When I got my schedule I had three classes I didn’t want. My mom said I could drop two, and the one I kept was welding,” she said. Being a female in a male-dominated profession poses unique challenges, and that is no less true of teaching, where she is the first woman here to lead a vocational trade class.
Ms. Adams first started teaching high school at the school where she graduated, Fontana High School. She said reaction to her teaching a trade was much different than it has been thus far at Chaffey. “Since this is a new program here at Chaffey, I don’t really get weird reactions; but at Fontana HS, they kind of took it as a joke since I’m a female,” Ms. Adams said.
The head of the Industrial Tech department, Mr. Dave Strickland, was in part responsible for her hire. “We had about seven different applicants, and her eagerness to work with the students stood out among all the other applicants,” he said. The search to replace retired metal manufacturing teacher, Mr. Lance, was not an easy one, but when Ms. Adams applied she an obvious perfect fit for the job, he said. “We were impressed that we had a women apply, and pleasantly, she was the most qualified for the job,” Mr. Strickland said.
After graduating from the new welding program, students meeting requirements will earn a certificate certifying them ready for employment in the welding industry. As for her teaching plans, “My plans are to start at the basics, but I want the seniors to learn as much as possible,” she said. Mr. Strickland added: “We are looking forward to building up a new program that hasn’t been here at Chaffey, and Ms. Adams is perfect for the job.”