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Dave Santos teaches carpentry to young Bulldogs

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Dave Santos has been teaching carpentry for over 13 years and specifically at Okkodo High School since it has opened. Though initially a history major, he couldn't pass up the opportunity to utilize his construction background.

"I honestly never planned to be a teacher," he recalled. "When I started, I kept saying, 'No, I'm not going to do it anymore', and what, it's been fourteen years and I don't plan to get out."

At the Dededo campus, Santos teaches carpentry as part of the Guam Community College's satellite program to about 60 students in 10th-12th grade. "I just thought that construction was a great way to enlighten these students and teach these students to be effective members in society. There is so many things in construction that people can use and make that relationship with life," shared Santos.

The program provides students instruction in the safe and proper use of tools related to the three major construction trade areas and affords students the opportunity to acquire entry-level skills. "It's competency-based, it's skill-based. You show them the tool. How to operate the tool, how to be safe with the tool and then tasks with the tool that they are able to operate the tool," he said.

As for what he hopes for his students, Santos said, "To me, my job as a high school teacher is to be a beacon for them. To find out where there niche is in life. What am I good at? What direction should I go? More than half of my students probably won't be carpenters after they leave my program, but if I help them find a path that they could be happy with, then I think I've done my job."

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