Pounds settles into first year at Sterling

Industrial Arts teacher Joshua Pounds helps senior Hans Anderson work on his model of the United States, which he is constructing out of various types of wood.

Sterling High School offers many different academic opportunities for its students. There are several classes that allow students to express who they are in their own way. One class that is not offered in many schools our size is the Woods classes.

After Industrial Arts teacher Keith Patterson retired with 27 years of service at Sterling, Joshua Pounds was hired in August of 2017 prior to the start of this school year.  

Pounds graduated from Fort Hays State University in Spring 2017. He moved to Sterling that following July and started at Sterling at the age of 23.

“It was nerve racking honestly. Coming here without any experience behind me and going right into teaching high school students that are basically my own age, I was really nervous coming in, but I have gotten to know the students better. It’s going a lot better now,” Pounds said.

Moving here a month before school started, Pounds had little time to become familiar with the school and the wood shop.

“Keith would meet me at the school when I moved here and showed me where everything was in the shop and gave me the basics of what I would need to know before school started,” Pounds said.

Some students had the chance to work with both Patterson and Pounds. The two have differences when it comes to experience in teaching, as well as the way they work with students. Senior Hans Anderson is one of the students that has had the chance to work with both teachers.

“Mr. Pounds is way cooler than KP was. KP was way more strict in the workshop than Mr. Pounds is, but that’s not a bad thing. Mr. Pounds has changed that,” Anderson said.

New teachers tend to not know many of the students and what their classroom will be like. Pounds is tackling this challenge while earning his teaching certificate through an alternate route to licensure program from FHSU.

“Mr. Pounds has done a good job for just coming out of college for a number of reasons. First, he has done a great job at keeping the wild kids fairly on a calm level and not too rowdy. So he has done a good job with classroom management for just being right out of college,” Anderson said.