Career and Technical Education students in the Auto Body class at TST BOCES have been given the exciting opportunity to take part in the restoration of a vintage 1946 Chevy pickup truck.
The truck belongs to Buzz and Linda Padgett. Linda was a member of the board at TST BOCES from 1993-2003 and served as board president for 16 years during that period. In addition to repairing holes and dents in the body, the truck will be getting a brand new, two-tone paint job.
“The students have given life to my husband’s dreams by working on this project as well as giving them an opportunity to work on a project that teaches them skills that they can use in their futures,” Linda Padgett said.
Linda says her husband Buzz has always been a car buff. He bought this truck as a restoration project a few years ago, and has been working on it ever since. When it came time have the truck repainted, he wasn’t sure what the next step should be. After getting a number of quotes from specialty shops, Buzz was worried that restoring the truck’s exterior was going to be too expensive and that the project had gone as far as he could take it.
But that’s when Linda thought of the CTE program at BOCES. She contacted Auto Body teacher Matt Lott, himself a graduate of the Auto Body program at TST, to see if the BOCES students could help out. As soon as the schedule in the garage opened up they brought the truck in.
Lott was very excited to have the truck brought in for his students to work on: “it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on a vehicle like this,” he said. “This is a rare truck, it’s a sought after vehicle.”
Linda Padgett was also excited that this project offered students a chance for real, hands-on experience working in a field they have chosen to learn more about. “It is my opinion that it is important to recognize that it is not a question of whether a student is smart, but how that
student is smart and it is our responsibility to offer the right opportunity and situation for that student to learn,” Padgett said. “BOCES offers that opportunity with their ‘hands-on’ learning opportunities.”