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Beautiful cedar trees at Ferrucci Junior High put to good use
Beautiful cedar trees at Ferrucci Junior High put to good use
Posted on 12/02/2016
Ferrucci Junior High cedar trees

When two cedar trees needed to be cut down at Ferrucci Junior High recently, teacher Paul Martin had a great idea. As the Gateway to Technology teacher at both Ferrucci and Ballou junior high schools he was not about to let the cedar wood go to waste, even though the trees were partially rotting.

Martin jumped in to help cut and remove the trees and secure the wood to use for student projects in his classroom. He even brought his tractor. He met the district Operations Ground Crew at Ferrucci early one Saturday morning where the trees were cut into logs and stored behind Martin’s classroom at the school. Retired CTE/Horticulture teacher Steve Bright assisted Martin with the cedar logs.

Ferrucci teacher Paul Martin

“I’m just happy it didn’t go to waste. Wood is expensive,” said Martin. Now, instead of purchasing pine at the hardware store for his classroom projects, he cuts the cedar logs using a sawmill loaned from a friend.

According to Ferrucci Principal Brian Fosnick the trees needed to be removed because they were rotting in the middle and could have fallen during a storm. He said they were becoming invasive to the sidewalk, bus lane, and drainage in front of the school.

Students in Martin’s Intro to Technology class at Ferrucci were thrilled to use wood from the cedar trees. “I thought it would be good make something out of the wood that Mr. Martin cut,” said seventh-grade student Emma DiMiceli. Students are currently working on a Key Holder project to make wooden key holders that they can present as gifts to family or friends. “I think it’s great that it’s a tree from our own school,” said Elizabeth Santos Ponce who is also a seventh-grade student in the class.

FJH student Emma DiMiceliDuring a recent classroom visit it soon became clear the projects involve much more than cutting the wood. Students study the project plan, calibrate, measure, sand, and drill. Martin said the wood will be used for other projects as well. As students progress in his classes they use creativity to design their own projects. 

Martin, who has taught in Puyallup for 14 years, said the trees will provide hundreds of board feet. His classes have only used two of the logs so far. As he cuts the wood he brings it into the classroom to store it so it will dry. Martin said he also plans to share the wood with the CTE Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) classes at Rogers High School. 

Fosnick said, “Through the process of removing the cedar trees, Martin is also teaching students how to begin with logs, cut them into wood, and how to use the machinery. He is donating his time and efforts to help the students in our district.”


Ferrucci seventh-grade student Emma DiMiceli


Nancy French


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Created:12/2/2016 1:17:28 PM