05/16/12 — Vocational teacher honored by county

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Vocational teacher honored by county

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 16, 2012 1:46 PM

A masonry instructor at Southern Wayne High School has been named the 2011-12 outstanding high school career and technical teacher of the year for Wayne County Public Schools.

Durrell Coley is also part of the school's construction academy.

He was recognized during a recent Board of Education meeting.

Board member Rick Pridgen called Coley a school leader who prides himself on preparing his students to be successful in the working world.

"His leadership is greatly appreciated by the administration and staff," Pridgen said. "Dr. John Boldt, his principal, had this to say about him -- 'Mr. Coley believes strongly in project-based learning. These projects give his students real world building experience and are often done in collaboration with the construction classes at Southern Wayne.'"

This year, Coley's students built a brick backstop and expanded the dugouts on the baseball field, as well as did extensive brick work around the new patron Saint sign. Last year, his students participated in a major expansion project of the football concession stand.

Under his leadership, students won the masonry competition at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair this past fall; a student placed eighth out of 76 competitors at the SkillsUSA state masonry competition in Greensboro; and another group will also participate in the upcoming W.P. Rose state masonry competition.

One of his major accomplishments this year was having 10 of his students earn their 10-hour OSHA certification, Pridgen said.

He also believes in being involved in the community, Pridgen added.

"He has contacted local businesses for their involvement and has received brick, mortar and sand donations for his students to use in their projects," he said.

Coley, who has 37 years of experience in the masonry field, has been at Southern Wayne for six years.