Seven Girls Enrolled in GBN Welding Program
Since 1959, Glenbrook North has offered its students the opportunity to learn the craft of welding, and for the first time, seven female students are taking part in this elective class.
Career and technical education teacher Mr. Steven Kornick began teaching the elective class in Glenbrook High School District 225 in 1979. “Over the years, I’ve never had seven girls in one class, and I think it’s amazing.”
Kornick retired in 2012 and continues to come back to substitute as needed.
Elizabeth Michael '23, said she enrolled in welding to build her skills and become an engineer one day.
"It's definitely very different. When I took my engineering classes, I was one of the only girls in the class, so being able to work with other girls in this welding class is very different and fun," Michael said.
GBN CTE Teacher Christi Rose said it's great for the students to be experiencing new activities and capable of learning the skill.
"Whether they are interested in a welding or engineering career, they get to have hands-on experience and try something where they can apply it in real life instead of just assuming theoretical," Rose said.
Welding is one of the elective classes and GBN for which students can get dual credit through Oakton Community College.
GBN student, Ellis Mudrik '24, said the dual credit program is why she enrolled in welding. "My goal is to start getting college credit ahead of time. I took it last year, and I decided to take it this year because that doubles the number of credits."
Students in the class are currently learning about arc welding, which uses electricity to melt metals.
"We are engraving our initials on a piece of metal, so that's pretty fun. I think it's really fun seeing myself ... learn and develop the skills and see my welds improve," Michael said.
GBN sophomore Zoe Saperstein '25 said she enrolled in the class not knowing anything about welding but to fulfill an elective requirement and is pleasantly surprised by how much she has enjoyed it.
"It's relaxing, and it's fun, but it's also a little bit challenging, so it's a nice exercise, and it's a break from the stress of other classes," Saperstein said. She said her experience this semester has convinced her to retake the class next year.
Kornick said the goal isn't to train students to become welders but to train them to think project-based. "We're training them to think how working with your hands and being creative is a viable alternative to just sitting behind a laptop."
GBN is only a handful of schools in the area that still offers the elective class onsite.
Kornick commented, “I’m proud to say the Glenbrooks still provide a comprehensive education. You’ve seen a lot of districts go to area location centers so they’ve done away with a lot of these types of electives. And if a student wants to do it they have to get on a bus and the statistics aren’t good for that.”
Other schools that offer welding to its students on campus include John Hersey High School, Evanston Township High School and New Trier High School. In total, there are 262 manufacturing and welding programs in schools across Illinois.