Superintendent Larry Hunt has been serving as Anamosa’s superintendent for the past four school years, but the former industrial tech instructor still has a passion for the craft and has put his skills to work around the district.
“If there’s things that I can help out with, I’m more than happy to do so,” he said.
At a previous district, Hunt helped construct a desk for an instructor in their computer lab. One such project he’s done in Anamosa is a bench in the high school cafeteria. Noticing what was occupying the space was on its last legs during a remodel, Hunt was trying to figure out what type of wood would work for the long space. Hunt was informed that there was some old wood from the old wooden bleachers in the basement.
“I took it home and planed it all down and stained it, and it worked out great,” he said.
The bench even comes complete with the old wooden handles that were used to pull the bleachers out, though the holes have been widened slightly.
In the classroom, Hunt says he enjoys presenting various projects to students to see how they would approach things, whether it be a wood project or another industrial tech project possibility. With trees that the district is currently having removed, students got to assist and see the whole process from start to finish, from downing trees to when it becomes usable wood. Hunt said he’s hoping to use the opportunity to offer kids some cheaper wood than they would be able to find at a store to work with for their own personal projects or possibly utilizing the wood in a class project.
As a woodworker, he’s always looking to put locally harvested trees to work. He said he particularly likes working with walnut, white oak and ash.
Hunt is working on coordinating a possible project with a local business to give students hands-on experiences in industrial classes.
“Anytime that we can give our kids real life experiences or what can be done in different ways, I think that’s great experience,” Hunt said.
Even though he’s not teaching the subject anymore, Hunt built himself a woodshop when he moved to the area and can often be found there when not fulfilling his duties as the district’s superintendent.
“I spend a lot of time in there,” Hunt said. “That’s kind of like my release.”
He enjoys shedding the suit and tie of the work week for jeans, boots and flannel while working on projects.
“If people see me on the weekend, they probably won’t know who I am.”
Hunt has put his woodworking to use for the school’s community foundation fundraiser. For this year, he’s got a special project planned utilizing a large tree at the elementary that the district had to take down because it was becoming a bit of a safety hazard.
“I’m hoping my project will be something people will take a liking to and think it would be nice to have a piece of that tree,” he said.
The public will be able to see what’s become of part of the old tree during the auction in February.