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Hurley continues woodshop program

Some students can go to the same school for their entire high school career and still not meet everyone. In a small school like Fresno Christian, most have at least met one another a few times. However, many people have never heard or seen of FC’s woodshop teacher Randy Hurley, and have never had the opportunity of getting to know him.

Hurley has been teaching woodshop for about six years, ever since his son and his friends wanted to learn how to work with wood. Originally, the class was a night class held at Clovis Adult School, as they allowed Hurley and his students to use their shop and equipment. At about the same time, Hurley began working with People’s Church, where a group of men would meet at Hurley’s shop at his house to help construct the sets that the church needed.

Hurley’s interest with woodworking began at a young age when his father had introduced him to wood and he never looked back.

“I grew up on a ranch and had a lot of open space,” Hurley said. “There were a lot of places to build forts and stuff, so I just enjoyed making different things and using my hands. There were no Legos back then so I used wood.”

Hurley has enjoyed teaching woodshop and has seen God’s hand work through his situations and provide when needed.

“After we started meeting at my house, People’s Church began to build the shop here on campus so we can start meeting here and have the class here on campus,” Hurly said. “The shop was donated and the equipment was loaned and everything just fell into place. God really had his hand over it.”

First-year woodshop student Breanna Jennings, ’15, says that Hurley is a good teacher and a fun person to be around.

“I’ve only had him as a teacher for a few months,” Jennings said. “But I really like Mr. {Randy} Hurley. He is nice, helpful and has a fun attitude. I joined woodshop because I’ve always enjoyed building things, but he has taught me the safety that is required when working with the tools, which is very important.”

Returning woodshop student Joshua Oakley, ’18, thinks that Hurley is a very fun and unique guy; it is hard to compare him to anyone else, he said.

“He is very nice,” Oakley said. “He teaches us in a way of I’ll-show-you-how-to-do-it-then-you-can-do-it type of manner. It’s hard to describe it. He is really funny and good at telling stories, which keeps the class interesting.”

However, when working with wood, safety is always a top priority. Hurley has been working with wood for many years and has encountered his fair share of injuries and scary moments.

“I’ve never been injured before until this past summer,” Hurley said. “I was just lazy and a blade caught my finger, and I had to have surgery. Another time I almost cut my thumb off on my table saw. To this day, I still don’t have any feeling in those fingers.”

Hurley knew working with kids was special after giving a special woodworking lesson to a fifth grade class.

“When Mrs. {Debbie} Siebert taught fifth grade, she asked me to do a project when the students were studying pioneers,” Hurley said. “So I was going to teach them how to built a little stool. There was one little boy who I watched complete his stool. Once he did, he turned and sat on it and looked around and he made eye contact with me and gave me the biggest smile. That’s when I knew that what I was doing was really cool.”

This year, woodshop is offered zero and first period, but is not offered on Fridays as Hurley attends to his personal life.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @dewolf14. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read the Oct. 10 article, Civics classes learn reality of courts on field trip.

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