From left, Waldo County Technical Center’s electrical trades instructor Dan Schaeffer with Toolship Award recipients Cooper Grierson of Mount View High School, Alexander Martz of Belfast Area High School and Kirk Stillman of Belfast Area High School. Courtesy of Waldo County Technical Center

BELFAST — Paul and Nancy Hamilton of Belfast believe in Career and Technical Education. They put this belief into action last year by starting a scholarship worth $5,000 honoring Paul’s father, Paul D. Hamilton Sr., who constructed many renowned buildings in Boston. This scholarship is available to any college bound seniors attending Waldo County Technical Center.  

This year, the Hamiltons’ generous nature prompted them to contact WCTC once again. They had another $5,000 earmarked for graduating WCTC students, but this time they wanted to help not just college bound seniors, but any graduating Tech Center student who needed a hand up in starting in the workforce or postsecondary education. 

The Hamiltons decided they would like to provide tools for students who needed them either for college or career. Thus, the Hamilton Toolship Award was born. This award is open to students from all programs in the school, whether a CNA student needs new scrubs, a culinary student needs a new knife set or a building construction student needs a hard hat.  

Students interested in receiving the Toolship Award had to write an essay explaining what tools they needed and why. Program instructors had to review and approve the list of tools students were requesting.  

The first recipients of the Hamilton Toolship Award are Kirk Stillman and Alexander Martz from Belfast Area High School and Cooper Grierson from Mount View High School. The funds were split between them. All three students graduated from the electrical trades program and are entering postsecondary school in the fall to further their education in that field. The boys’ instructor Daniel Schaeffer was instrumental in helping his students by logging many hours and miles across the state shopping for just the right tools.

WCTC expects many of next year’s students to apply for this new award and is once again so appreciative of the community’s support of Career and Technical Education and Waldo County’s students.