What’s Right with Schools: Hands-on experience in masonry program at Ellis Tech HS helping students build career brick by brick

Whats Right With Schools

KILLINGLY, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s one of the oldest trades and one of the rarest here in Connecticut: masonry. Elliott Hayden is the Masonry Instructor at Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School and has been for nearly a decade. He tells News 8, “This is unique; there are only three other masonry programs in the state of Connecticut.”  

Senior Alex Davis initially wanted to pursue carpentry, “Before I knew what Elli was, I never thought I’d be here, and then when I saw what masonry was, I fell in love with it.” 

Each of the students works with different materials.

“With the training, they get here they could specialize in stonework, they could specialize in concrete work, or bricklaying,” Hayden says. 

Davis tells News 8, “Well freshman year you think you’re getting the hang of it it’s pretty easy; sophomore year you kind of learn how little you do know; junior year you start to pick things up; and senior year you’re ready to start your career.” 

From arches to fireplaces, even pizza ovens, these students are building full-sized projects.

“Every year it progresses the projects get harder and we expect more out of them.” 

They’re not only getting experience inside the classroom but many of them work on projects in their communities.

Davis says he has worked on chimneys and fireplaces for his family and friends, “They see what I’ve done what I post and they want it done in their house.” 

A hands-on experience helping them build their careers brick by brick. 

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