A revival of sorts is happening at Skinner Middle School thanks to a teacher who has never forgotten his roots – or those in a plank of wood.
“I fell in love with woodworking at Lake Junior High School. I mean I absolutely fell in love,” said James Duran, a teacher at Skinner Middle School.
Three years ago, Duran – a student advisor and teacher at Skinner Middle School since the mid-1990s – joined the staff in pushing for a return to electives connecting students to the trades. When the elective was approved, he moved out of a role focusing on discipline and into one guiding students on how to deal with the patience, frustration and celebration of woodworking.
“It would be special to start bringing the wood shops back,” Duran said, “because we’ve seen such a positive impact here on our school with our kids. I mean, the kids are crazy about this wood shop. And that’s a lot of my motivation.”
WATCH our DPS Features video on Mr. Duran’s commitment to providing woodworking opportunities for students at Skinner Middle School!