School’s NOT out for the summer

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Local welding teacher works through the summer to keep up on industry changes

Teacher works through summer to keep up on industry changes

Ismael Gonzalez has two jobs.  During the school year, he teaches welding at the local Career Development School.  During the summer, he heats it up by welding, funnily enough, on other schools.  Turns out that welding on these other schools may help him out when he’s teaching welding at his school.

Local welding teacher works through the summer to keep up on industry changes

Teacher works through summer to keep up on industry changes

By Allison Miles • Originally published July 30, 2009 at 7:09 p.m., updated July 31, 2009 at midnight

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Photo by FRANK TILLEY/ADVOCATE PHOTO EDITOR

For most teachers, summer vacation is a time to kick back, relax and regroup before heading back to the classroom.

But not for Ismael Gonzalez, a 49-year-old welding teacher at the Victoria school district’s Career Development School.

Gonzalez is spending his summer practicing what he teaches as he welds for Victoria Air Conditioning.

On Tuesday, orange sparks flew in the South Texas heat, but an intermittent breeze still wafted through the company’s fabrication shop as the welders worked on pipes and air conditioner parts for the district’s new schools.

Most of what the company is doing this summer has to do with the upcoming schools, said Terry Young, the shop foreman. But he said Victoria isn’t alone.

“Schools are going up all over,” he said. “Austin, San Antonio, everywhere.”

Gonzalez’s 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. summer work isn’t all about the extra paycheck. He said he began his vacation-time welding for a couple of reasons.

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