HAVERHILL – For the students of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, creating a float for Haverhill’s 57th annual VFW Santa Parade was a group effort spanning many of the school’s professional programs.
Students from the Community Art Workshop, a new course from Whittier, led the project from concept to completion. Emphasis was placed on problem solving skills, craftsmanship and teamwork. The students involved in the project were recently recognized by the superintendent for the creation of the tank.
“We decided to make our float look like Santa’s workshop and have the elves work in a few of the different stores we have in Whittier,” said Jonathan Boles, visual art teacher. “Each elf was handcrafted by our community arts students. Elves were designed around each student’s individual shop and represent the creative and aesthetic choices of each student.
Students from several Whittier classes – carpentry, electronics / robotics, electrical, HVAC, visual design and communications, metal fabrication, and auto bodywork – collaborated with workshop students to bring the float concept to life.
The carpentry students built most of the tank workshop using house framing techniques they learned in class. Metal fabrication students created parts including a star, an anvil, and a snowman. Students from other streams contributed ideas and comments.
During planning and construction, students gained first-hand experience of the client-contractor relationship, school officials said.
Whittier Tech cheerleaders accompanied the float along the parade route, which took place on Sunday, November 21.
“The community of Haverhill was thrilled with the return of the Santa Claus Parade this year and were very impressed with the skill of the Whittier students in creating such a wonderful float,” said Whittier Superintendent Maureen Lynch. “Congratulations to the students and teachers who contributed to this project. “
Whittier Tech also recognized library media specialist Richard Porcelli, who served as a sound producer and conductor for the school’s parade floats for 24 years.