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WTHS celebrates anniversary and renovation

The ChannelLock Inc. team displays some of the new equipment setup in the Welding Room at Worcester Technical High School, in Newark, Tuesday.

By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer

(Jan. 31, 2019) Mayors, teachers, politicians’ aides and members of the Worcester County Public Schools Board of Education celebrated not only the 10th anniversary of Worcester Technical High School’s current building, but the ribbon cutting of the welding department renovated by ChannelLock Inc.

“We found out that this ChannelLock tool company was having a contest and Ms. Tammy [Hauck], came up to me and said, ‘We have this opportunity for this video contest. We’re going to make a video. Are you OK with this?’ I’ve been here for two months so far, so I said ‘sure,’” Principal Tom Zimmer said.

At the beginning of the 2018 school year, the trade school received a notification about a nationwide video competition held by ChannelLock, a welding and hand tools company that planned to give $5,000 for welding equipment and $3,000 worth of hand tools to the first-place winner.

The video, which had to be between one- and two-and-a-half minutes, was to explain why the school deserved the prize. Worcester Tech submitted a video just under the maximum video length at two minutes and 29 seconds.

A Facebook contest held in October had visitors vote on the best video out of three schools: Worcester Tech, Impact Institute in Indiana and Gulliford Technical Community College in North Carolina. Worcester Tech received the most votes with over 19,000.

The ChannelLock company spent five days repainting and installing new equipment, tools and other necessities in the welding room. The official reopening ceremony took place on Tuesday.

Berlin Mayor Gee Williams and Snow Hill Mayor Steve Mathews, as well as Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli and representatives for Del. Wayne Hartman, Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and Sen. Andy Harris also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor was also on hand and praised the efforts of Welding Program Director Rick Stephens.

“This is the fourth year of the welding program and as Mr. Stephens said in that video, we have roughly 30 kids enrolled in the program today and a waiting list of more than 30 kids to get into this program,” Taylor said. “I can tell you that Rick Stephens made that happen. Rick Stephens does a fantastic job with this program, and to our ChannelLock friends, you couldn’t have picked a better instructor and a better program to focus your resources and energy on. Rick, thank you for all you do.”

Stephens said winning the competition is a result of the enthusiasm of his students.

“We’re very lucky Worcester County has great kids,” Stephens said. “We have excellent students, we have great staff, great administration. The program is so exciting and so great to work with every day. I look forward to it and that’s because of the kids.”