By MARINA WATERS
David Crockett High School’s colors are brown and gold, but lately, students in Rick Freeman’s auto body class have been more concerned about the red, white and blue.
The students repaired and repainted a car, dubbed the “DC Patriot”, which will be featured in the Jonesborough 4th of July parade through downtown this summer.
“It’s been working out good,’ Freeman said of the students’ work. “They came up with the color scheme and drew it out on paper and colored it. Everything starts on paper.”
The car, in all it’s patriotic glory, was obtained by the school due to the amount of hail damage to the top of the car. But after students fixed the damage, they drafted an American-themed design, complete with a fresh coat of red, white and blue paint.
But auto body work such as repairing cars and applying a fresh coat of paint is anything but foreign to the students.
As featured in the Nov. 29, 2017 edition of the Herald & Tribune, real-life skills such as repairing dents, sanding bumpers and applying paint just as technicians do in actual body shops are all part of the class’s work and education throughout the year.
“My kids like my class because we’re always doing something. We’re always working on a project and it’s all hands-on,” Freeman said. “This is very hands-on. We’re not sitting in the classroom all the time. We’re working on cars and doing a lot of real world projects.”
Freeman also said projects such as the parade car not only give students another applicable skill to be used in the real world; the auto body teacher also believes the work his students do in his class helps his students stay focused in their other courses.
“It helps with all the other classes,” Freeman said. “When you’ve got your usual curriculum classes, it’s nice to be able to grab a drink and some chips and come over here to this building and work on a car.”
But the class didn’t spend hours fixing and retouching the parade car for themselves; Freeman’s class kept the nation’s armed forces in mind as they worked on the red, white and blue-themed car.
Freeman said his students came up with the theme for the car their own good. Freeman said his students chose the theme, which honors our nation’s veterans. He also said he is currently hoping to find a veteran or two to ride with him in the DC Patriot through the parade this summer.
“When people are running out of the building, they’re the ones running in,” he said. “They risk their lives. If someone breaks into your house, they’re the ones that are there. We just wanted to say thanks to our service men and women for all they do.”
The students who worked on the parade car include: Dylan Graham, Brandon Mathes, Shane Peterson, Destiny Dunbar, Jonithan Barekman, Cheyanne Turbyfill, Takota Turbyfill, Zack Adams, Robert Crain, Jacob Barnett and Marcus Greggory.