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Reynolds High students turn metal into magic

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From coins to ornaments, teenagers donate efforts to community

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From right Chris Dahmen, a sophomore at Reynolds High School, and Jonathan Santiago, a senior, display ornaments they helped make for the holiday tree in Troutdale.


Metal fabrication students at Reynolds High School have been making their mark in the wider community over the past several weeks.

Back in November, the students helped to create commemorative coins for more than 100 veterans who attended a living history event at the school.

Then, just this past Christmas season, the students forged ornaments for the Holiday Tree in downtown Troutdale.

“That was a big hit as well for all the community folks who attended the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and throughout the holiday season,” said Bernard Kleiman, the students’ teacher.

More than 200 students study metal fabrication in his classes, he added, including Jonathan Santiago, 18, a senior.

Santiago is in his second year of metal fabrication.

“At first I thought it would be an easy grade,” he said. “But it turned out to be harder than it looked. I’ve learned a lot of skills doing this.”

Indeed, Kleiman said, machinists and welders, as well as folks who work in computer aided design, are among those who need the kind of skills taught in his classes.

Commemorative coins

Making coins to honor the veterans was a community effort, Kleiman said. The Portland company Versa-Tech donated the metal for the prototype, he added, noting the model used five stars to represent the military’s five branches, surrounding a large star in the middle.

Technical Finishing and Plating, another Portland company, donated the chrome plating for the coins, and the Portland jewelry company Simon Golub Sons donated boxes in which to place the coins.

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