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Bonita Vista Middle Teacher Shows Off Work to Raise Funds

Created: 05 August, 2011
Updated: 26 July, 2022
2 min read

Unique cutting boards being sold to support wood/tech program

Bonita Vista Middle Teacher Jim Young along with Brandon Young and Riley Evans show off their wood work.

    As soon as you walk into Jim Young’s woodshop at Bonita Vista Middle School you get the sense that it’s a special place. Polished wooden work tables, student work displayed all over the room and stenciled words on the wall that remind students about “responsibility,” “safety,” and to “think before you act.”

    Like many school wood shops, Bonita Vista Middle School’s shop is facing challenging economic times and a shrinking pool of resources.

    This summer, rather than watch those resources slip away, Young got an idea to help raise funds for the tech/wood program by building and selling cutting boards. Young, his son Brandon and his son’s life-long friend Riley Evans, spent five weeks this summer in the wood shop creating 180 custom-designed cutting boards.

    The boards aren’t just any cutting board—they are each one-of-a-kind designs that Young describes as “eye-popping.” With the assistance of Frost Hardwood & Lumber Company, Young was able to secure high quality, low-cost wood for his project and use a variety of unique woods such as alder, ash, black walnut, jatoba, red oak, paduok, Philippine mahogany and purple-heart. Each board is 1 1/8″ x 11″ x 17″ and no two boards are alike.

    Each board underwent a 26-step process that involved cutting, sanding, gluing and oiling. The team used over 2,300 pieces of wood, seven 55-gallon drums of sawdust, three gallons of glue, three types of sand paper.

    “We worked the whole summer, but it was an enjoyable summer,” said Young. “Sometimes it’s not about what’s best for me, but what’s best for the kids.”

    Young’s classes are among the most popular at Bonita Vista Middle. In addition to wood working, Young’s courses incorporate applied science through projects such as building bridges out of balsa wood, building CO2 powered race cars, building and launching small rockets and doing community service projects where students donate some of their wood work to Frederica Manor, a senior retirement community in Chula Vista.

    “Mr. Young is a true example of the commitment that teachers in the Sweetwater District have to their students and to the work that they do,” said Board President John McCann. “We hope that the entire community supports his efforts.”

    The cutting boards are for sale and are $40.00 each. They can be purchased with cash or check. For more information contact Bonita Vista Middle School at (619) 397-2200 or Jim Young at

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