‘Featured Teachers’ in Masonry/Bricklaying

Left is Mr. Shirley, Masonry Instructor from ICTC and Right is Mr. Shaner, Masonry/Bricklaying Long-Term Sub at BCCTC

Throughout the first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students had been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have asked, “How did you teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and came up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with a virtual learning platform for CTE. However now, during the second marking period, when permissible by the district, some of our students are back in the building! Let’s find out how it’s going…

Prior to the COVID outbreak, BCCTC’s Masonry/Bricklaying instructor had an unfortunate accident and has been homebound ever since. Beginning this year without our instructor was extremely difficult, especially since we began the year virtually. Wanting to make sure our Masonry/Bricklaying students were able to continue their education in this field, our Administration initially sought the help of 11-year teaching veteran, Masonry instructor, Mr. Christopher Shirley from Indiana County Technology Center. Mr. Shirley took on our students virtually while he was teaching his own in Indiana County. THANKS, Mr. Shirley! This allowed time for our Administration to find a long-term substitute who had adequate experience in the industry.  

Meet Mr. Arnold Shaner, who has 42 years in the Masonry Industry, most of which is from the Bricklayer’s Union. Because of a friend who taught Masonry at another CTC, Mr. Shaner would sub for him on occasion for a change of pace and enjoyed the experience teaching high school students.  At this stage in his career, he feels that he wants to pass along his expertise to those who have an interest in pursuing the trade. Mr. Shaner said, “These students have no idea just how much money a good masonry contractor can make. If they apply themselves and can follow directions, regardless if they are accepted into the Union or find a contractor to work with, they will do just fine for themselves.”

Mr. Shaner operates and still works for his own business called ‘Redco Masonry’. Some samples of his work are below. Right now, he is going through the basics with BCCTC’s Masonry/Bricklaying students, wanting to understand the level these students are ‘building to a line’ but they seem to be very happy to be in class with trowel back in their hands. Zaire Ellis, a senior from the Ambridge Area School District had this to say, “Mr. Shaner has to be the best masonry sub out there! The theory part was hard but being in the lab helps me to understand what we were taught online. I plan to work in this field someday and this class is helping me get to my career goal.”

First off, we wish Mr. Lamont well has he continues to recover. Secondly, Mr. Shirley, MANY THANKS AGAIN for helping our students through the full-time virtual instruction and your continued support to Mr. Shaner. Finally, a HUGE WELCOME to Mr. Shaner!  We all look forward to seeing the student’s projects!

Below are just a few samples of Mr. Shaner’s work in the Masonry Industry…

Residential Fireplace using Cultured Stone
Residential Patio & Outdoor Kitchen using Stone
Residential Pavilion with Exterior Fireplace using Pavers with Stone Piers
Back View of a Residential Home using Brick Veneer

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