News and Events
From the Prescott Valley Tribune:
3/25/2015 6:05:00 AM
"Franklin Phonetic's woodworking classes excites teacher, students Woodworking teacher Tom Bockman instructs a class of sixth-graders at Franklin Phonetic Charter School on how to use a wood-burning tool.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
Woodworking teacher Tom Bockman instructs a class of sixth-graders at Franklin Phonetic Charter School on how to use a wood-burning tool.  To see more photos, go to photo galleries.

The former lunchroom at Franklin Phonetic Charter School now houses an impressive array of machinery that includes six lathes, six drill presses, a planer, a joiner, five scroll saws, wood-burning tools and a bank of templates and finished projects.

Having taught woodworking for 31 years at Prescott High School, instructor Tom Bockman said the switch to a younger age group has been "fantastic."

"I've fallen in love with teaching all over again," he said, adding that his first two years he taught middle school in Coolidge.

Bockman said he resigned from PHS after the school shut down the woodworking program two years ago. He has had tremendous support from school administration, parents and the community with numerous donations of equipment and supplies. A parent recently donated the planer and joiner machines.

The new classroom site has north-facing roll-up windows and space equivalent to about a 2.5-car garage. Prior to this, students moved the equipment outside to have space to work - except when it rained.

Students make use of every minute of class. Kody Prince drew an outline freehand for a pizza paddle that he cut out and sanded. Madeline Calvert used her drawing to create a keychain. Isaac Nache worked off a template to cut out four layers with the scroll saw to make an elephant piggybank.

Michael Lough, of MCK Woodworks, is a former student of Bockman, and donates his leftover wood to the school.

"We're glad that it's being put to use," Lough said.

Prescott Area Woodworkers have loaned the school two lathes. Roger Harlow has donated much of the exotic wood scraps used by the students.

"Plus, he is always there with advice if I need it," Bockman said.

On a recent Wednesday, he gave a quick demonstration of the wood burning tools at the beginning of class, which sixth-grader Billie Marsden put to use later in the period.

On the lathe, Heather Norvell worked a piece of wood into a "mini-baseball bat" shape in preparation for making a writing pen, while Manuel Gomez started on a wooden goblet. Ashlyn Young cut out a heart box on the band saw.

Students use the last 10 minutes of the class period to sweep and clean up, although the vacuum system Bockman created takes care of most of the dust.

Bockman said his class size numbers between 5-14 students with "lots of girls" participating. He requires all students to tie up long hair and wear safety glasses. Seventh- and eighth-graders alternate between woodshop, home economics, and art classes every week and a half. Sixth-graders have wood working every Wednesday, and Bockman teaches fourth- and fifth-graders in the after-school program."

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