Rooted in Liberty

Two students use their creativity and woodworking skills to create an unforgettable memory.


In March 2022, senior Hayden Bracken (pictured) and LHS alum Trevor White created a table made from the remains of a tree which had long stood outside of Franklin Elementary School. “I thought the table was a great way to utilize the lumber. I requested him to make something big, rather than cut the wood up into a bunch of smaller pieces, and it turned out great,” teacher Josh Jacobs said.

On Dec 1, senior Hayden Bracken and graduate Trevor White donated a table made out of ash wood which came from a tree that previously stood outside Franklin Elementary School before the district existed. Bracken and White both made the table using the wood from an Ash tree that was supplied for them in their woodworking class, with the wood being donated for the class. This hand-made table was later donated to L.O.E a few weeks ago. It was decided to keep the table in the district as Bracken had many family members who work at Liberty Oaks. 

   Both Bracken and White appeared at Liberty Oaks the day the table was donated to talk about the process, struggles and accomplishments. The table was originally made for a project that Bracken and White both enrolled in Woodworking last year. Students are allowed to make whatever project they can plan and there are no limits to a project’s size.

   “Hayden did not really have an idea of what he wanted to make, so I proposed to him that he make something out of the large Ash logs that had been donated to us,” woodworking teacher Josh Jacobs said.  

   The preparations and building of the project started in early March of last year and lasted a total of three months and a half            

   “We used about every tool we had in the shop. I planned with the period of time I had and the time left in school,” Bracken said. “The project was good but pretty stressful at times.” 

    Bracken and White faced many struggles but one of Bracken’s biggest struggles was getting the ash wood and pieces to stay flat.  According to Woodworkly, Ash wood is an incredibly strong and durable wood, which makes it very resistant to scratches and dents but makes it tough to become completely flat. 

   “I was blown away by how professional it looked, and so were all the judges at the competitions we took it to. Some even offered to buy it,” said Jacobs. 

   After the making of the table  Bracken decided to submit the project into a few competitions such as the KC Manufacturing and Design Expo, T. E. A. M regional contest and finally, to State. Bracken and White both won Best in Show at the T.E.A.M regional contest and first place at the KC Manufacturing and Design Expo.   

   “Watching Hayden and his partner Trevor win first place at the KC Made competition was definitely the coolest part of the whole project and very inspiring,” said Jacobs. Advanced Woodworking can be taken after students ave already taken Intro to Woodworking with most materials provided in class for students to use for their projects.