Farrah Ashe, 18, made a coffee table.
“It allows you a lot of freedom,” she said. “You can make whatever you want.”
The three other students entering the competition were Robert Brouillard, creating a Shaker wall clock; Nathan Greenwood with his replica day bed; and Austin Marino for a hall table.
Ciccarello said some students are just not academically inclined, but are good with hands-on work. For some students, it’s a first time dealing with the stress of completing a project, including the failures and changes that might occur along the way. The end result is the pride that comes from seeing it through.
“You’re going to make mistakes,” Ciccarello said. “But it helps them learn to overcome mistakes. There are a lot of world lessons on how to deal with setbacks.”
The high school offers several courses in woodworking, including exploring wood, woodworking technology, and advanced woodworking that includes working with hand tools and sign carving.
Ciccarello has been at the school since the building opened in 1978. He said a junior high teacher inspired his own love of craftsmanship.
He said students learn so much in his classes and he is very proud of what they create, learning valuable, functional lessons along the way.
“It’s about them having resources, and asking, ‘How do we make it come out right?’” Ciccarello said. “I expect them to make mistakes. If something goes wrong, you fix it. It’s like life.”