The welding shop at Ash Fork High School welcomed their new welding instructor, Stone Atkinson this quarter. Mr. Atkinson is an AFHS alumni that graduated with several welding certifications while attending classes in the very same shop that he now teaches in. He attended Pima Community College for welding and has worked in various welding positions for the past seven years. His passion has always been for welding in industrial as well as artistic settings and he is so proud to be able to give back to the community and school that gave so much to him. His hope is that his welding class will not only offer students the skills and experience necessary for a successful and satisfying career after graduation, but also the confidence to explore the many opportunities that welding skills can open up to them.
After the initial jitters of having students for the first time, Mr. Atkinson has been so excited to see students go from thinking they wouldn't be able to weld to laying down beautiful beads. In his own words, "letting students be creative is super important to me and it helps them discover the different types of welding they can do. You don't just have to be a pipe welder, you can make beautiful art as well.” This mindset has been beneficial to all the students, but particularly the many girls in the class that are learning to excel at welding. Beyond working on welding standards, some of the senior students have already begun making interesting and creative projects. Excelling students have created a roping dummy, a shopping cart - go-cart with steering capabilities and went over the top with a desk repair and renovation. Keep up the hard work welding students!