Utah teacher of the year builds cabinets, character

For Waldo Warnick Jr., helping students build their self-esteem is just as important as helping them build a solid bookcase or table.

Warnick, president of the Delta Utah West Stake, was recently named the 1991 Utah Teacher of the Year for his devotion to education.A drafting and cabinetmaking instructor at the Delta Technical Center, Pres. Warnick has taught industrial arts to high school students in Millard County, Utah, for more than 20 years.

"My classroom is a place where excellent drafting and beautiful furniture are created because my students know their projects are worth doing to the very best of their ability," he said. "This requires hard work, dedication and extra effort.

"I try to help students in need to turn their lives around and set goals for themselves that will lead them to success and not self-destruction. We must be there to build up the self-esteem of students, to inspire them to excel and not to give up."

He believes that education starts in the home and that the other institutions of society should build upon that base to bring about the greatest possible development of the individual.

He relies on a simple method to help shape the lives of his students in his classroom. Each student is invited to choose a wood project, and, as he helps them complete the project, he teaches them the skills he wants them to have – life skills as much as woodworking skills.

Pres. Warnick's title automatically makes him a nominee for National Teacher of the Year.