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San Juan Unified District Office
3738 Walnut Ave.
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 971-7700

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Casa Roble students showcase – and sell – their handiwork

For sale: Adirondack chairs, backyard sheds, podiums and even guitars, carefully handcrafted with precision and attention to detail.

And all built by skilled, enthusiastic Casa Roble Fundamental High School students.
For years, students in Rob Leever’s woodworking class have built and sold a few of their creations each year. They even built the podium used today during San Juan Unified Board of Education meetings.

Leever’s students often donate money toward the costs of the sometimes expensive materials they use each day. But the economic slump has made it harder for his students’ families to keep doing that, he said.

So Leever, who has taught woodworking at Casa Roble for about nine years, is hoping the students in his advanced class can sell more of their items to a wider base of customers in the community.

Click here to view a brochure Leever  created to advertise many class-created products, including their prices.

“The materials for class are expensive. I always joke with the kids (that) wood doesn’t grow on trees anymore,” Leever said. “As a way to kind of get around that, we thought we could have students build products and then sell them to the community.”

Mitchell Stockwell, a senior in his third of woodworking, was focusing hard as he made measurements in preparation to cut a door in an in-progress  shed one recent Friday.

He said he likes the class because he enjoys “working with my hands, and (Leever) gives us a lot of opportunities to change stuff and alter it to the way we like. … I’m planning on going to study engineering, so this is sort of similar to that.”

Stefany Valtman, a junior at Casa Roble, said she’s grateful not only that her woodworking experience might boost her college chances – but also that she’ll take away valuable life skills.  

“If you’re ever alone in the house later on in life, when you don’t have your dad to take care of you,” she said, “if something breaks, I know how to fix it.”

Leever said his students create high-quality products that are competitive with anything purchased at a retail outlet.

“I pretty much hand-pick the kids,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing to watch what they do. Great kids.”

Watch the video above to see the students in action.

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