Welding student blazes a new trail

Welding student blazes a new trail

Mayra Angon, Student Life Writer

His goggles are in place. He turns up the heat and pulls down his mask with his giant gloves. The glow of the fire melds the metal, and Paxton gets to work.

Senior, Paxton Baxter has been in the welding program since he started high school. Baxter first started in the agriculture principals course, then moved into agriculture mechanics where he started making projects for teachers and school events under the direction of CTE teacher David Woods. Afterwards he worked on a project for the county show and competed in the TSTC (Texas State Technical College) Welding contest through Welding I, and this summer he toured Trane/Ingersol Rand with CTE Director Brad Langley where they also accepted a $5,000 donation for Ag Mech materials.

“Creating a pipeline of Chapel Hill brazers will make a huge difference in the lives of a ton of kids and this awesome company,” said Langley.

Baxter is now in advanced welding working on projects for the Fort Worth Livestock Show in January and the Smith County Livestock Show in April. After becoming certified at Trane, he is now the only East Texas high school student N.O.E. Brazing Trainer through Ingersol Rand  he can be hired on when he turns 18 years old.

“I’d like to thank Mr. Woods and all he has done to bring me further in this program. He has become a very important mentor in my life, in more than just welding,” said Baxter. “I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I am very grateful for the people that have stood next to me and pushed me to better myself everyday.”

Baxter plans on continuing his education to receive his Associate’s Degree where he will have the opportunity to open his own welding shop in the future.