ROCKINGHAM — On a typical first day of school, students might tell fun facts about themselves, say what they did over the summer or listen to a teacher as she reads the class syllabus.
But advanced-technology instructor Jason Perakis at Richmond Senior High School took Principal Jim Butler at his word when Butler suggested that teachers not worry about little things like the syllabus or lists of classroom rules.
Go big, Butler said. Make the first day exciting and different.
“I wrote on my Facebook page that Mr. Butler told us to do something ‘big,’ but I did something ‘superior,’” Perakis said Monday.
Perakis invited representatives of Superior Cranes of Rockingham to talk with students about their company and safety procedures — things his students might someday use on the job.
“We try to get them to understand that we’re teaching them real-life applications,” he said.
Carpentry teacher Robbie Mills agreed with Perakis. Visits from companies give students hands-on learning experiences to accompany their lessons, he said.
“This is great for the kids because it teaches them about safety,” he said — “something they’ll learn about in the classroom.”
Yard operations manager Marcus Powell of Superior Cranes said Monday marked his second time visiting the high school to talk with students about cranes, what he does and what the company looks for in employees.
“I like to see the young people interested in this,” he said. “We’re looking for young minds, energy, computer skills and a mechanical background.”
Powell also said he offered similar presentations at Ellerbe Middle School and Richmond Community College, and saw the same interest in the cranes — especially among the middle-schoolers.
“It’s neat because they showed more interest in the equipment than what I was expecting,” he said.
Powell took to the high school a 60-ton hydraulic crane, which he said was the smallest crane the business used, The biggest weighs 1,300 tons. Students were eager to ask questions about truck maintenance, job opportunities, daily tasks and the different jobs each crane could perform.
Students also craned their necks as they watched Powell demonstrate how to operate the machinery — a little taste of what Powell explained happens at the company’s annual Lift and Move event. More than 1,500 students from across the state attend to Superior Cranes to watch them in action, he said.
Robbie Mills’s carpentry class listens on as yard operations manager Marcus Powell talks about the relatively small 60-ton crane he brought with him from Superior Cranes.
Students stand back and stare as Marcus Powell operates a crane.
Marcus Powell tells students how they can become involved in the crane industry and the different jobs the 60-ton crane he took with him could do.
Reach Jasmine Hager at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]