LOGAN — Within the chaos of life, it can become easy to go through the motions everyday, but often people go above and beyond the call of duty and are often recognized for their efforts.
Gary Silcott, principal of Stantec Consulting Services, has been recognized for helping students within the Logan-Hocking School District (LHSD) learn more about engineering. Silcott brings years of experience to the table and has always welcomed the idea of giving back to the communities he works in.
It all started roughly three years ago, when Silcott approached the school district about potentially introducing students to more career opportunities, specifically engineering.
“I stopped by his office at Stantec during summer break. Within a few minutes, I realized we had not found a great resource to help our prospective engineers — that resource had found us,” explained Craig Abram, industrial technology instructor.
Silcott received the Citizen for Education Award from the Logan Education Association (LEA) awards ceremony. This award is presented at the Educators Hall of Fame reception during American Education Week.
“I didn’t expect it, I feel it’s my duty to reach out to younger folks and bring them in, showing them what’s out there and the opportunities,” Silcott humbly stated.
Nominees for this award must have made significant contributions to the educational system and to the students of the school district. Nominations are made by school employees and don’t necessarily have to be employees of the district.
Silcott started out doing a couple presentations with an overview of the different types of engineering and shortly after began working with students in an engineering course the high school offers.
He has assumed the role as project manager and professional contact for several engineering teams interested in exploring civil engineering. He provides real world experience for the students including presenting to city council, developers, and investors.
The latest project they worked on was for an area around Scotts Creek across from U.S. 33. The area they surveyed has always been a hotspot for development due to the open flat field and location, Silcott explained. The students created different layouts of what could potentially go there such as commercial property for restaurants, hotels and even some housing.
Silcott had the current owner of the land at the time speak on what his ideas were, teaching them what it would be like working with others outside of the team.
The hope was that someday the land would be developed and the students could see their project come to life; however, since then the land has been sold for conservation efforts.
During the school year, Silcott was awarded this honor by the LEA, but was unable to attend the event. It was imperative to students and Abram that they thank Silcott in person before the school year ended. Therefore, during the last week of school they invited him to stop by Abram’s Principles of Engineering class to accept the award, and thank him for all he has given to the students.
“Those students will carry experiences to college that are invaluable, as an incredible advantage over their peers. For that, we cannot thank Gary enough. His time, expertise, and passion are freely given to the students of Logan High School. For that, we are most privileged,” Abram stated as Silcott was awarded with a plaque.
“We sometimes struggle down here (Southeast Ohio) to find engineers and CAD (Computer-aided design) folks because of the area. The thought is that if we can get people locally interested, then they can go to school and get their degree and hopefully someday come back home and get a good job for their career,” concluded Silcott.