Doug Andres, who graduated from the Delaware Area Career Center Welding & Sheet Metal Fabrication program in 2013, has returned to take the helm as the new instructor.
Andres has replaced Brad DeMent, who left the program to take a position as the operations administrator for the DACC earlier this semester.
Last month, Andres discussed his work experience after leaving the school and said after he graduated in 2013, he immediately began working in the construction industry.
“I worked on heavy equipment welding excavator buckets and dozer blades,” Andres said. “I spent about a year doing that before I went to The Hobart Institute of Welding Technology were I took their combination Structural and Pipe program. After Hobart, I worked for a local company that builds secure access platforms for the building industry. (There) I welded a wide variety of material, including stainless steel, aluminum and steel.”
Andres returned to the DACC a few years ago to serve as the welding instructor for the adult program, and he previously served a similar role at Columbus State Community College.
Andres said he’s excited to return to the high school welding program.
“Returning as an instructor at DACC is an amazing feeling,” he said. “This school has given me great opportunities to be successful, and it is great to be able to give back to the students. My number one goal is to provide the best instruction possible to the students. I want them to have the skills necessary to be successful in the industry.”
DeMent said last month that he was very attached to the welding program and hesitant to leave it, but he felt more comfortable when he learned he’d be passing the program onto Andres, who was a junior during DeMent’s first year at the school.
“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.
DACC Superintendent Jay Poroda spoke about the significance of a former student taking over as instructor.
“At DACC, our mission is to empower our students with the skills needed to serve as experts and leaders within their chosen careers,” Poroda said. “We are so proud that Mr. Andres not only developed the technical skills but also the passion for this craft that he can share with his students as a teacher.”
Andres added he’s honored to be following in DeMent’s footsteps.
“I have always looked up to him for guidance and professional help, and it is a cool feeling to be considered his equal in some ways,” Andres said. “I am looking forward to helping the students make industry connections. We have also participated in welding competitions, and I am excited to show off my students skills. They are extremely talented individuals.”