ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JAN., 16-17, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - This Jan. 6, 2016 photo shows the Ketchikan High School auto shop, which has sat empty since mid-December when the school closed for the Christmas season, in Ketchikan, Alaska. After shop teacher Jeff Shelton's death in a vehicle collision during the break, the school is now moving students back into the shop. They were being taught by substitute teacher Theresa Wong in the Kayhi library. (Nick Bowman/Ketchikan Daily News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JAN., 16-17, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - This Jan. 6, 2016 photo shows the Ketchikan High School auto shop, which has sat empty since mid-December when the school closed for the Christmas season, in Ketchikan, Alaska. After shop teacher Jeff Shelton's death in a vehicle collision during the break, the school is now moving students back into the shop. They were being taught by substitute teacher Theresa Wong in the Kayhi library. (Nick Bowman/Ketchikan Daily News via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Students return to auto shop after losing teacher

  • By NICK BOWMAN
  • Sunday, January 17, 2016 6:58pm
  • NewsSchools

KETCHIKAN — Students are just now returning to Ketchikan High School’s auto shop after the death of Kayhi shop teacher Jeff Shelton.

Shelton was killed in a vehicle collision in British Columbia during the school’s winter break.

Since school started in the first week of January, substitute teacher Theresa Wong has instructed Shelton’s students in the Kayhi library. Principal Bob Marshall said classes would resume in the auto shop on Jan. 7.

The shop was closed so that Marshall and other administrators could plan out how to proceed with the rest of the school year, as some activities in the shop require more than general teaching certifications.

“You wouldn’t expect them to pull engines,” Marshall said of students, noting that Wong is familiar with the shop and has worked as a substitute there before. “It sounds like they’re just finishing up a few projects here and there, so they should be able to get it done.”

The teacher also kept many personal items in his classroom desk, and the school was “making every effort to make sure that Mr. Shelton’s personal things were given back to the Shelton family.”

Marshall and Assistant Principal Mike Rath this week prepared the room for students, who haven’t been in the shop since school went into break in mid-December.

For now Kayhi is relying on short-term substitutes, but Marshall said the school might hire a long-term substitute to finish the school year.

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