New Teacher Profile: Mr. Foor is Metal


Ashlynn McKinney

Mr. Kermit Foor is Tyrone High School’s new metal shop and technology teacher.

Each year schools face the difficult task of prioritizing what to teach students. There is constant pressure on how funds and resources are divided. Because of rising costs, and an ongoing shortage of qualified teachers, hands-on shop classes are often some of the first classes cut at smaller schools.

Mr. Foor helping a student with a project (Ashlynn McKinney)

So when long-time metal and shop teacher Ed Vancas retired in 2021 after 40 years of service, Tyrone was at risk of becoming yet another school without a shop class.

All last school year, the once busy metal shop gathered dust, and students who signed up for metal shop classes had to be reassigned.

Even the district administration had no idea when, or if, these classes would be offered again.

Enter Bellwood native Kermit Foor, who was still an undergraduate in the technology education program at the California University of Pennsylvania when Vancas retired.  Foor saw Tyrone as a great opportunity for him to stay close to home and teach metalworking and other technology-based classes.

“I had my eye on this position since I started my last semester of college at Cal U. It was of the few job openings in the area, and I really wanted to stay close to home,” said Foor. “I heard that my position was vacant for the past two years, so this made me want it even more.”

Tyrone principal Chad Packer understands the value of vocational and technical education and is glad to have Foor on the TAHS staff.

“Metalworking and other career and technical classes offer students the opportunity to build important life skills. They learn how to use tools and build things with their hands. They let students test their inclinations toward possible careers in engineering, carpentry, or architecture,” said Packer. “Mr. Foor brings knowledge and enthusiasm to his classroom as a teacher. He is very creative. The students benefit from that creativity by participating in completing the lessons and projects he is providing.”

Foor currently teaches three classes: Metals and Manufacturing I for students in grades 10-12, Manufacturing Technology for 9th grade, and Metalworking for 7th grade.

“My high school students are exploring the world of the manufacturing industry and gaining some hands-on experience with shielded metal arc welding. Middle school students are working with sheet metal and making basic trays,” said Foor.

Students are also excited to have new classes available to them. “Mr. Foor is great and I’ve learned a lot,” said sophomore Sam Crilly.

Mr. Foor brings knowledge and enthusiasm to his classroom as a teacher. He is very creative.”

— TAHS Principal Chad Packer

After graduating from a high school without a technology education program, Foor wants to implement a well-rounded program for Tyrone students.

In the future, Foor would like to expand the technology program to include a fab lab, art and jewelry metalworking, and robotics.

“I am most excited for the fab lab, which will hopefully include vinyl cutters, 3D printers, sublimation printing, and a laser etcher,” said Foor.

Foor was inspired to get into education by two of his teachers at Bellwood; Jamie Forshey, Bellwood’s Director of Instructional Technology and Media, and Matt Webreck, Bellwood’s agriculture teacher.

“Mrs. Forshey and I started collaborating in fourth grade and ever since then she was always very supportive of my learning and involvement with technology in the district. She would provide me with the opportunity to learn on my own in independent studies. Matt Webreck, the district’s Agriculture teacher, taught me many valuable life lessons and leadership skills in his classes. These two people had a great effect on me and drove my decision to become a teacher,” said Foor.

Foor is excited to join the Tyrone faculty and hopes to grow as a teacher throughout his time here.

“I am getting a lot of support from my colleagues and administration with the changes and vision I have for the program in the future and I could not be more grateful,” said Foor. “My ultimate goal here at Tyrone is to inspire my students to be creative and learn new skills that they have been missing for that time the position was open,” said Foor.

My ultimate goal here at Tyrone is to inspire my students to be creative and learn new skills that they have been missing for that time the position was open”

— Kermit Foor