Teachers introduced to Lee County industries

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The president and CEO of Hawkeye Industries said Thursday he decided to take a different approach this year when teachers from Saltillo High School toured the sheet metal fabrication facility as part of Industry Education Day.
In years past, Bryan Hawkins said he’s emphasized the things he thought would be good for students to know. This year, he decided to focus on explaining the facility’s operation.
“The point is not to pontificate what they need to teach,” Hawkins said. “The point is to show them what is out there and to let them figure it out.”
Thursday marked the Community Development Foundation’s 34th annual Industry Education Day. Tupelo and Lee County educators for grades nine to 12 toured industries throughout the county, while those in kindergarten through eighth grade participated in breakout sessions at the Tupelo Furniture Market.
The aim of the day is to raise awareness among educators of how industries operate and what skills employers are seeking from graduates.
Hawkins told the teachers about the facility’s complex technology and showed them how it uses lasers to cut metal and other machines to shape metals.
“I was amazed at the complexity that is achieved with so few workers,” said Robin Hill, who teaches band at Saltillo High School and Guntown Elementary. “It gives us a better idea of what the community expects out of the students we teach.”
Saltillo High School art teacher Teb Thornton said he learned things that he could take to his art students.
“There is an aspect of art to this,” Thornton said. “Some of the things they are doing are almost like sculpture.”

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.