After more than a decade in the welding lab at the Delaware Area Career Center, Brad DeMent will be stepping into a new role at the Delaware Area Career Center later this school year.
DeMent said he’ll be departing the lab to take on a new role as the operations administrator for the DACC, replacing Jack Higgins, who is retiring after a decade in the position.
The decision to leave the lab for an administrative role wasn’t an easy one for DeMent.
“It was a tough decision,” he said. “The Welding program at DACC is my pride and joy. I have great students that I didn’t want to leave, however, after much consideration and talks with my wife and a few mentors, I feel taking on this role is the right decision for me and my family. I always thought I might want to dabble in administration after a few of my supervisors over the years recommended I look into it, but I never pictured myself as a principal or dean of students.”
DeMent said he felt like he would be a good fit for the vacancy.
“I knew our current Operations Director Jack Higgins was retiring at the end of 2021, and since I am more of a ‘fixer’ and a hands-on kind of person, I felt this was the right position for me if I were to pursue the administration pathway. I am really excited to challenge myself in a new role at DACC.”
DeMent said he’s looking forward to learning on the job and helping the school.
“I love to learn, and I have high expectations and goals for myself, so it’s exciting knowing that there will be a lot of learning in this position,” he said. “I am really looking forward to becoming an asset on the administrative team and bringing in a new and fresh perspective that only a former instructor can bring to the conversation. In the operations position, I look forward to getting to know the maintenance and kitchen teams and providing motivation for members to continue working at a high-quality level while providing opportunities for them to challenge themselves to grow professionally.”
DeMent added he’s glad his new role will keep him at the DACC.
“I am most excited that I was able to change positions while staying here at DACC!” DeMent said in an email. “I love DACC and everything that career technical education provides to our students, so it’s great that I get to stay in the district!”
DeMent said he takes pride in the work he accomplished in the welding lab, especially sending students to competitions, including three national championship wins.
“Anytime your students can say they are the best, or among the best in the entire nation, that is a huge accomplishment and just goes to show that we do great things here at DACC,” DeMent said. “Students have accomplished multiple top place finishes at the regional and State SkillsUSA championships on a yearly basis, and four state championships in the Pumpkin Chunkin’ trebuchet contests. Even though I get the most satisfaction out of watching most of my students move on from high school to start great careers for themselves in the welding and metal fabrication industry, I felt the time was right to move on and challenge myself professionally in a different role within the district.”
The DACC has already found DeMent’s successor in Doug Andres, a graduate from the DACC’s Welding program in 2003.
“One aspect that makes me more comfortable leaving the Welding program after leading it and growing it for over 10 years is that I am handing over the keys to newly appointed DACC Welding Instructor Doug Andres,” DeMent said. “Doug was a junior in the DACC Welding program during my first year of teaching! He excelled as a student in the program by participating in SkillsUSA and the Job Placement program.”
DeMent said Andres has been the adult welding program instructor since 2017 and will make a great instructor for the high school program.
“It’s always great to ‘grow our own’ and provide opportunities to our alumni, which will allow Doug to embark on his new teaching career where he will empower, prepare, inspire, and connect the DACC Welding students to be the best that they can be,” DeMent said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.