In the earlier years of 1946 to 1962, Uxbridge High School had an Industrial Arts Room. During the first years, this area was referred to as the Manual Training Shop.
The first teacher was Mr. Hal Cunningham, 1946 to 1951. He was followed by Mr. Ross Robinson (who still lives in Uxbridge) from 1951 to 1966. Next came Mr. Walter Clark, who taught from 1966 to 1968. Mr. Charles Myers was hired to teach Industrial Arts Shop in 1958 and continued in that capacity until the shop was closed in 1963. Mr. Myers then transferred his teacher certification and became the first Machine Shop Instructor in the new Technical wing.
During the fall of 1961, the Central Ontario County District School Board embarked on the single largest addition to Uxbridge High School yet then attempted. The new areas were to include Science Rooms, a Gymnasium, Commercial Rooms and a large Technical section. The existing Industrial Arts Shop was to be discontinued in favour of the seven new shop areas. Established at that time was the Drafting, Electrical, Woodwork, Machine, and Automotive shops. A very new concept of the times was an innovative area known as “Occupations Students” Shop.
These rooms concentrated on such subjects as Automotive, Farm Services, Painting, Decorating, Building Construction, Welding (Forge and Masonry) for the boys.
Another area, located away from the main shop grouping and adjacent to the Home Economies room, was the area established for the Girls, The subjects offered there were Short Order - Restaurant Services, Hairdressing, Homemaking, Child Care, Hospital Care Services and Merchandising. The girls also received instruction in sewing skills.
In November, 1961, Mr. Norm Brunne was hired by the Board of Education to set-up the new technical facilities, and to act as liaison between the Board and the Architect in the design and construction of the new wing. Norm continued as the Technical Director teaching Woodwork, Drafting and Electricity, until his retirement from teaching in 1978. Others hired for the fall of 1963, were Mr. Howard Shier – teaching electricity for one year and then occupations until 1965. Mr. Pat Solerno joined the staff in 1963 and taught automotive shop until 1965. Mr. James Grant became part of the technical staff in 1964, teaching Woodwork and Carpentry. Jim left the staff in 1969 moving to Collingwood. Mr. Walter Burningham was hired in 1965 to teach Boys' Occupation's subjects, leaving one year later. Earl Oliver taught in the Boys' Occupation shop from 1966 to 1967. In this same year a second teacher was hired to cover the Occupations subjects, Mr. A.E. Wilkes who remained one year. He was succeeded by Mr. Stan Carroll who taught in the Boys' Occupation subjects from 1967 to 1971, at which time he was transferred to Harwood Secondary School. Mr. Peter Weitzenbauer assisted in this latter subject from 1967 to 1969.
A further change in the Technical Staff saw Mr. Manfred Sobol hired to teach woodwork. He was a member of this department from 1969 to 1970.
The girls' Occupations classes were part of our Technical Department and added a fine cross section of individuals. Teaching in this area were Mrs. Eldene Weir (née Ellis) who worked full time in the “Girls' Occupations” subjects from 1963 to 1969. Assisting her was Mrs. Audrey Baker (née Stewart) who also taught the subjects full time. Mrs. Weir left to become a family person, while Mrs. Baker met with a tragic fatal accident after moving to Oshawa to teach, Later, Miss H. Margaret Smith did part time teaching in the Girls' Occupations during 1968-69 along with Mrs. Louise Hope who taught the Merchandising and Home Making, part time, from 1967 to 1969. In June 1969, the Boys' and Girls' Occupations classes were closed at Uxbridge Secondary School and were transferred to Port Perry High School.
Present staff includes Bill Armstrong, 1964 - Drafting; Bert Corbett, 1965 - Automotive; Clayton Connell 1979 -Woodwork; Lloyd Horton, 1964 - Electrical; Stan McMullen, 1965 - Machine Shop, Automotive; Charles Myers, 1958 - Machine Shop, Welding.
McMullen and Myers were appointed Department head and assistant when Norm Brunne retired in 1978.
Keith Hooper taught Woodwork, 1978-79, moving here from Anderson High School, Whitby, and in turn moving on to Port Perry.
In spite of a decline in school population, technical courses remain popular with students. Many girls select technical courses, the majority selecting Drafting, Automotive and Woodwork.
Adults are encouraged to become day students and all courses are open to adults. Hopefully, adult students will become a common sight in the technical shops at Uxbridge Secondary School.