Skills Today, Future Tomorrow

“Say that again! Couldn’t hear you over the compressor!” came the call from the ground to the rooftop at the Junction City High School construction house site.

JCHS Juniors Billy Gilda and Mason Shrader along with Sophomore Johnathan Theunissen found themselves securing roof paper on a 36-degree morning as part of Mr. Jeffrey Wells Science and Engineering career path construction program.

Students of this elective program learn the practical application of the construction trade in order to prepare them for chosen career ambitions.

“I’m hoping to obtain an Academy, West Point, appointment and study biomedical sciences. I see this class as a practical application for engineering concepts,” offered Gilda. Her father, LTC David Gilda is a Battalion Commander serving on Fort Riley.

Johnathan, a student of the Business and Information Technology Academy at Junction City High School, hopes to further his studies in entrepreneurship and work in the reptile trade. “My father is Wayne Theunissen, recently retired Air Force, and I hope to one day use skills learned in this class to build my own reptile enclosures.” Adding; “my Mom is Angela, she has a GS job on Fort Riley.”

Mason hopes to attend Texas A&M where he wants to study architectural science and recognizes that this course provides a practical view of how the science of design works. Mason, who is accomplished in competitive archery, is the son of COL & Mrs. Stephen Shrader, Fort Riley Garrison Commander.

Students of Mr. Wells were successful in putting up walls and the roof prior to Thanksgiving break. Houses completed in past years have sold to members of the community providing students with a real-world sense of accomplishment and show of learned skills.

“Weather permitting, we’ll have the windows and doors in place by Christmas and start the interior after the break,” explained Wells.

The plumbers and electrical contractors will work over break. Inspection and acceptance of their work will allow the class to start on the interior with drywall up and finished by spring break.

“Exterior siding will be installed during good weather,” added Wells.

After spring break, it will be a rush to perform finish work and have the home ready for market in June 2019.

Before leaving the site Billy was asked the origin of her name. Her cheerful response? “It was my great grandfather’s.” Just one of the many illustrations of the rich traditions held in our Geary County community, our students, their families, and the Junction City High School.

This feature and more can be found at or “the connectED Show” which the USD 475 will test for a short time in Spring 2019.

Contributed by David Wild, Chief Operations Officer, USD 475

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