Senior woodshop student takes on new leadership role


Adry Munoz

Kayla Vine works on a project with her fellow classmates in woodshop.

Adry Munoz , Writer

Here at St. Louis High School, the woodshop program is filled with several talented students who put together many projects that not only benefit the school but also the whole community as well. Mr. Maxwell created this program and has since built the classes into something wonderful. 

Yet, there is one student who has stood out throughout her time in Maxwell’s woodshop classes. Senior Kayla Vine has been a part of the program since her sophomore year, and since then she’s grown to be one of the best woodshop students Maxwell has ever had. This year, her skills have definitely grown extensively as woodshop is in her schedule multiple times a day.

To put it simply, Vine is a natural with the skills she possesses. She stands out as a leader during class and projects. When she first started the program in 10th grade, she wasn’t exactly unfamiliar with the subject. Vine stated, “My parents were both very handy growing up; especially my dad. It’s what I grew up around. So when I first started to take woodshop, what the class was about and what was being taught wasn’t exactly new to me. I felt like I actually already knew a lot of the information before joining the program.”

Despite this being her third year in woodshop, Maxwell believes she has grown into an even greater student and leader over the course of this year. He stated, “When Kayla first started taking my class, she was apprehensive about what was being taught; which might have been due to the fact that she was already familiar with all the information being introduced. But since then she has developed a very supportive outlook on what we learn and do in class. She’s very determined in what she does, which only adds to her being a great student.” 

Additionally, there are a lot of projects created in the woodshop program over the year. The students build items like toys, cabinets, tables, plaques, and even different types of decor for the school. Vine mentioned, “My overall favorite project I’ve done is making the toys; more specifically gifting them to the children. It was so priceless seeing their happy faces when we finally got to handing the toys out.”

These projects require leadership, and Maxwell said, “It’s clear how much of a natural-born leader Kayla is in class. She is always confident in what she is talking about. Not only this, but she is a great listener and follows instructions directly on how they are being told. She’s a very task-driven student. As much as Kayla excels in her work, I think what stands out the most is how she gets the work done. Kayla’s aggressive, but to the point where she always gets the work completed efficiently.” 

Out of everything Vine has learned in class throughout the years, she feels her communication skills were one of her strongest improvements.

Vine stated, “I’ve never really been good at communicating. But I think especially this year communication is what I have grown the most in as a person. This involves communicating with my classmates and teachers on different projects that we do. I believe it’s partly because I’ve matured and grown more confident with my abilities in class over the years.”

She added, “One skill that I believe I excel at inside the workshop is working with the Bandsaw. A bandsaw is usually used to cut different shapes or curves in select pieces of wood. Adding to that, I think I’m also pretty skilled at gluing.”

As Maxwell watched Vine grow into her skills, he mentioned that she could almost run the class just by herself. 

He stated, “In my opinion, with Kayla’s ability to listen and lead, I wholeheartedly believe she should become a Woodshop teacher in the future. We always joke about her going off to college to get a teaching degree in Woodshop so she can come back here and take over the program. While we do joke about the fact, I really do think she would be able to fit just fine in the role with the knowledge she has about the subject already.”

Unfortunately, Vine’s run in the program is almost over as the seniors graduate in a few months, but her time here may have sparked more thoughts about what she’ll do after high school.

“This class has definitely led me to think about something I may pursue in the future. I am actually very interested in architecture. Maybe even being an architect myself,” Vine stated.

She added, “This in short is because my favorite part of any project during class is actually the planning and designing aspect of the projects we work on; what we do before we start building the final product. I’ve grown to love the planning aspect even more this year.” 

Vine has definitely made her mark in the woodshop program, not only with her extensive skills but with her determined, dedicated attitude that allowed her to flourish during all the different projects the class would create. 

Maxwell concluded, “Of course, I have had other talented female students in my woodshop, but Kayla stands out because she takes more of an outward leadership approach. There have been a lot of other great students, but they sometimes have more of a closed-off attitude in class. She is confident in her knowledge and doesn’t necessarily stand behind the scenes.”