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Fenton Billings – Springville High School

To Whom It Concerns:

I would like to nominate a teacher for, the teacher feature program. I’ve been going to do this for a long time. I’ve been putting it off.

In the year 1970 I started at Springville High School. I was one of the oldest students in my class, so I got to take Drivers Education the first quarter of the school year. I could feel there was something different about him.

If any of us 45 students had any questions or problems in class we could all go to him and he would personally help us or answer any questions for us.

I had this teacher for wood working or Industrial Arts class. I would watch how he would handle the students. The school counselors would suggest his classes, to students that would be dropping out of school. They would sign up for his classes. They way he would handle them to get their projects done and come to classes. The students would get a passing grade and enjoy their time they had in class. These students are the ones that would not be graduating from school, but with his help they did graduate.

I know students that were dropping out that decided to take his classes. These students has came right out and told me they wouldn’t of graduated without his help.

My brother had this teacher too for Industrial Arts class. He was a real test for Mr. Billings. Mr. Billings take him out of one environment and put him into another environment while at school. He did so much better in class in this new school environment.

I wanted my son to have him and his classes, because I thought he would learn something from him. My son was interested in woodworking too. My son was a junior when he started in his classes, he really liked the way Mr. Billings put hisself across to his students and the way he helped them. My son got a job in cabinetry, the summer after his junior year of school. His boss was so impressed with work and knowing he only had one year of schooling. He asked where he got his experience from. My son told him he had Mr. Billings for his Industrial Arts class. My son’s employer told my son that Mr. Billings was the best Industrial Arts teacher in this area.

There is an Industrial Arts competition on the campus of Southern Utah University Campus, in Cedar City, UT. Mr. Billings would take his classes at the end of the year down to this competition. My son had built 2 night stands and a dresser drawers his senior year.

My son loaded his dresser drawers into the truck to go down to the competition. Mr. Billings asked where his 2 night stands were. My son said they were in the classroom. Mr. Billings told him to get them loaded onto the truck. My son said they were not very good. Mr. Billings said I taught you in the class didn’t I.

My in-laws, wife, and myself went down to the show to see the projects. We walked around to where my son’s projects were.

We looked at his dresser drawers first. This project had a 1st place ribbon on it. We looked down and saw his 2 night stands with 2-2nd place ribbons on them.

Mr. Billings has taken many, many, and many classes down to this competition. The students that go down to these competition does very well all of the time.

My ex-wife had given him the money to build this dresser drawers for his younger brother. She made such a big deal about this dresser drawers being built for his brother.

Mr. Billings told my son and his mother, that my son should keep this dresser drawer for himself. Mr. Billings told my son and his mother, he could make another one coming in before and after school. Mr. Billings made himself available for my son to get it done for his brother. There was only 2 weeks left in school.

Mr. Billings would have students in athletics programs or other competitions. He would have them come in whenever they could so they could get their credits for their credits for their classes and learn while they would do it.

I drive school bus for Nebo School District. I’ve been sitting here in the compound writing this nomination. I told the other drivers what I’m doing. Most of the drivers in this compound has had him or their children have Mr. Billings for a teacher. These drivers agree with me he should be on the teacher feature I’ve been going to do this for a long time.

My son, that had Mr. Billings for a teacher, drowned in Bear Lake on August 13, 2000. The only reason I bring this up is we had him speak at my son’s funeral. He took so much interest in his student he can go on and on about them in speeches. Our family members couldn’t believe how much he knows about his students.

My Father-In-Law had taken Mr. Billings for a night adult class. Mr. Billings could remember him after 8 years of having the class.

Mr. Billings had a way about him he can find likes and dislikes about all his students.

Mr. Billings started teaching in 1961. The reason he went into teaching and Industrial Arts, was he enjoyed kids and working with wood.

Mr. Billings wouldn’t only teach, but he goes into the shop during the summer and he would go through all the equipment and rebuild it every summer. He wouldn’t have the equipment down during the school year when it was being used the most. He was all the time using his head like that, so student would always have something to do.

Mr. Billings retired about 3 years ago. You would think he would be home do what he like doing. His son Scott take the program over, after his father retired. Mr. Billings still goes to school each and every day and helps with the programs going on at Springville High School. Mr. Billings does this ever day and does not even get paid for what he does.

The students he has in the program now are the grand kid and great grand kids of his former students. If you would take a survey of everyone that has benefited from having him you would find that he goes far beyond the scope of being just a teacher. He has been a counselor in so many of students too. He has helped so many get a job.

Mr. Billings can get along with the parents too. He would work with students and get them to work with students and get them to work with each other. I know I have benefited by being a great & wonderful person from knowing Mr. Billings. I know I could find a lot of people that would back me up with what I’ve been saying.

Mr. Billing main joy is being with students. He likes seeing projects from the start to finish. He can see a student isn’t performing to his best ability he has a way he gets them to do their best.

Mr. Billings and myself got talking one day. I was able to work with my father most of my life. Mr. Billings said that was another neat part of still being at the school was being there with his son.
I ask you to consider Mr. Billings for the teacher feature recipient of your award. This would be for the community of Nebo School District.

Monte B. Larsen