More in News
For the love of the outdoors
First year and third year students and their instructors: From left in the bottom row are Instructor Dave Mason, Nick Pierce (third year), Jeremy Grignon, Teddy McLaughlin and Julian Baldinelli. In the back row areTravis Dewees, Instructor Mark Beaudoin and Richard Bean. Absent is Will Simmons, third year student. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Ellis)
Second-year students pose by the school’s skidder. They are Brian Gray (with chain saw) and Travis Jackson (standing) and Garrett McPhearson and Nate Letarte (seated). (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Ellis)
Everyone likes to see the chips fly. Teddy McLaughlin uses a chain saw to take off the butt of a log. His safety equipment includes a hard hat with screen visor and noise-reducing ear muffs, work gloves, chaps and steel-toed boots. His chain saw also has a working chain break. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Ellis)
Editor's Note: This is the tenth in a series of articles about the students in the various programs at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology.
MEXICO -- What causes teenage boys to talk about love and passion? Believe it or not, it’s the Region 9 School of Applied Technology forestry/wood harvesting/heavy equipment program.
“I chose forestry because I love to be outdoors,” stated Dirigo junior Julian Baldinelli. He is in the first year of a two-year program.
Second-year student Travis Jackson, a Telstar senior, echoed, “I chose this program because I love the outdoors and I knew this program was for me!”
“I have a passion for cutting wood,” said Dirigo junior Jeremy Grignon.
First-year students in the program learn how to identify common trees, maintain and operate a chainsaw, skidder, crawler and pulp loader, properly fell a tree, estimate timber stand volume and scale logs. Second-year students learn more about maintaining heavy equipment and work with simulators for tree processors and forwarders.
Instructors Dave Mason and Mark Beaudoin also receive rave reviews from their students.
Travis Jackson, a Telstar senior, commented, “In this program, the teachers are excellent and have taught me everything I know.” He is a second-year student.
“I love how we go outside every day,” adds Teddy McLaughlin. “I like the teachers, they’re probably the best two people for this program.” He is in the first year of the program and is a sophomore at Mountain Valley High School.
The big equipment impresses some. Nathan Letarte noted, “They have a good skidder. The teachers are nice. They help you when you need it.” He is junior at Dirigo and in his second year of the program.
As with other Region 9 programs, this one stresses certification.
According to Mason, “At the end of the two-year program, students may obtain Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class A or B licenses, and sit for the Certified Logging Professional (CLP) certification examination.”
To earn the CLP, students must pass a work-site evaluation and written exam. They need to master first-aid/CPR, forest management and silviculture, safe and efficient wood harvesting, and business.
As a new addition to the program, “we are looking into adding a wood scaling curriculum where the students will be eligible to obtain their apprentice wood scalers’ license,” explained Mason. “A student that completes the two year program will be able to sit for the state test.”
A licensed wood scaler is a person who measures wood. An apprentice wood scaler completes a training program and then works under the direction of a licensed wood scaler for a period of time.
Grignon, like most of his classmates, has a goal. “I’m hoping to get my CLP certification and more knowledge on managing money and wood.”
Dirigo junior Garrett McPherson emphases safety in his goal. “I hope to get my CLP and learn to safely and effectively log.
McPherson is also taking the truck-driving course through Region 9 to earn his Class B license. With that and his CLP, he will have some valuable skills to offer a future employer.
The students are the best spokesmen for a program they love and would highly recommend.
Grignon said, “If someone asked me if they should come to this program, I would say it would be the best decision you ever make in high school!”
“But only if you are cut out for it,” added McLaughlin. “If you love the woods and want to learn how to use a chainsaw or drive a skidder, then this is the program for you.”
In the future, the program may add some more equipment. Mason said, “We are presently working with the Board on purchasing an excavator for the program.”
The first year students will learn to run the excavator and use it in the yard as a loader. The second year students will get into more detailed use of the machine, where they will ditch and make roads, make landings, build brook crossings, dig rocks, level dirt, and pile wood.
Mason continued, “The excavator will provide a diverse training for students that not only want to work in the woods but also for students that may be interested in going into excavation and/or heavy equipment. It will also provide training for students that wish to run a buncher.”
If a student is interested in learning more about the program, contact Region 9 for a tour.