Nate Rutkowski wins Golden Hammer award 5.21

Written by David Green.

It doesn’t happen often—only three times in 40 years—but a Morenci Area High School senior was given the Golden Hammer award by the Lenawee County Association of Home Builders.

Nathan Rutkowski was selected this year among all students in the Lenawee Tech Center Building Trades II classes.

Lenawee Tech Center instructor Kevin Brown said it’s his job to narrow the field to four candidates—two from the morning session and two from the afternoon. After that, a committee of five members of the Lenawee County Association of Home Builders interviews the four and selects the overall winner.

The interview covers an array of factors ranging from skills to attitude.

“Everything you could possibly think of,” Brown said.

Rutkowski came through on every account plus one extra factor.

“They told me that Nate had heart,”  Brown said. “It has to mean something to the student.”

Brown said Rutkowski has been “an absolute joy” to have in class. He added that Rutkowski played a vital role in the major class project for the year—the Habitat for Humanity house at 1133 Frank St. in Adrian.

“Nate is a great leader and a great person,” Brown said.

He received the award at the May 13 banquet.

Brown said the award is the top one given by the Building Trades department.

“It’s a huge honor,” he said. “It’s by far the biggest award we give out and the competition was tough.”

Rutkowski is only the third Morenci student to win the Golden Hammer since the award was first given in 1968. David Brasher was the 1974 winner and Jason Cox earned the award in 1996.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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