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.

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