New Castle News

May 14, 2013

Students learn values provided by hard work

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

I am a substitute teacher.

I just finished an assignment for a vo-tech student who needs extra support. Little did I know this assignment would pay me to learn masonry skills (three hours of masonry class), but more important get to observe the incredibly inspiring story of a group of young men working hard to walk a path into manhood where they could make a living for their families and be good men.

Most of these young men (not all) have had difficult lives — parents who died in accidents, poverty, foster homes, parents who use drugs, single parents, schools that were not able to educate them, and more.

The teacher was Mr. Sperdute. His “old-school style” teaching is exactly what young men can respond to. He demands respect, but gives respect back in full measure. He demands hard work but helps them get a job if they work hard. He listens to his students’ lives, questions and issues and expects them to listen to his.

I observed Sperdute building a “real world” monthly budget that might include the expense of chewing tobacco. He showed them in concrete numbers that the things his students might want (new truck) will need to come from overtime.

He made it clear they will have to work hard, work overtime and work their butts off. No one would be handing a living to them. They would have to earn it. This means quality work as a mason.

I can honestly say that if it weren’t for a teacher like Sperdute, some of these students would not be in school and would be heading in a very different direction.

Kudos to the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center for my inspirational month.

Go to www.newgalileepotatofestival.com to see what I’m working on.

Peggy Boyer

Wampum Mount Air Road

New Galilee