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Bessemer City teacher focuses on life lessons
Bessemer City teacher Stan Haynes takes pride in offering life lessons
Stan Haynes has been teaching at Bessemer City High School for 27 years, almost all of his 29-year career in education.
Haynes teaches carpentry in the fall and masonry in the spring. He said the ability to still be able to perform a hands-on trade is important and something that he enjoys showing a younger generation how to do.
Haynes is retiring at the end of the school year. During his career, he has tried to teach his students lessons in the classroom as well as ones they can take with them in life. Here’s a look at what Haynes believes are the three most important lessons.
Success isn’t determined by what others think of you
Haynes says the best lesson he can teach his students is that success is determined by the individual and not by what other people think.
“The key thing I try to stress is how you define success,” he said. “If you’re working and paying your bills and you’re happy, that’s being successful. From the outside looking in, other people may not think it is, but it comes down to what you think of yourself.”
Physical work skills are still important
Haynes, who used to lay brick as a side job when he wasn’t teaching, said the need for masonry still exists. And in an age when teenagers spend a lot of time on their phones and computers, he’s proud to still teach physical work skills so students will be able to go right into the workforce after graduation. It is something he has enjoyed watching his students do ever since he became a teacher.
Haynes has seen a lot of change in the industry during his three decades as a teacher. While some companies have gone out of business or have grown and relocated, he’s proud to find a fit for his students with local firms like Beam Construction and Masonry Unlimited in Cherryville.
You have to start building a work ethic now
Haynes says that it’s important to teach more than just the physical work skills of carpentry and masonry.
“I have always tried to teach about having a work ethic,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of change during my time in education, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that whenever school ends, whether you’re a graduate going into a job or going on to college to become a doctor, you’re going to have to work.”
Taking on responsibility and showing up for work are key to being successful. It is never too early for students to learn this, according to Haynes.
“Being on time matters. Attendance matters,” he said. “It is important to remember this in life.”
Haynes’ classes are part of the Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy at Bessemer City High School. The Academy is focused on preparing students for promising careers in engineering, technology, and industry-based professions such as masonry, carpentry, and advanced manufacturing.
Students can take courses in various career cluster areas: architecture and construction; business management and administration; health sciences; manufacturing; arts, audio/visual technology and communications; information technology; and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Plus, students can take advantage of internships and make connections with leaders in the local workforce.
The Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy is also the focus at Bessemer City Middle School. Middle schoolers are able to explore and discover career possibilities in the areas of industry, computer science, and engineering and engage in activities related to web development, interactive games and animation, and computer programming.
Having the Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy in Bessemer City creates a pathway for students to participate while in middle school and then transition to the Academy at the high school level.
Students, who live outside the Bessemer City attendance area, but want to be a part of the Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy, can apply to attend. For more information and to submit an application, visit www.gaston.k12.nc.us/schoolchoice. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 18.