December 9, 2020

Terry (left) with MEI student in shop

Since starting at MEI Secondary in the 2017-18 school year, MEI’s Woodworking and Drafting teacher Terry Ward has been gradually shifting the program’s direction to increase “real world” application for future workplace success. Here are some further details and an opportunity to give to the program.

Project Examples

In the past 4 years we have completed 3 real kitchens (for teachers or those in need).  We took these projects from initial design to installation. We worked thru the process of sketches and site measurements then onto basic 2D AutoCAD drawings and then into a full 3D design on 2020. Students put together sample boards and then priced out the kitchens using various materials.  Once approved it went into the shop to be cut and assembled. Although our drawers and doors were made and finished offsite, the students still learned the process for making cabinet doors and spray finishing.

Student Engagement in the Industry

We currently have 3 recent grads who are working full time in the woodworking trades and we hope to have many more.  One class this year was our first time with 50/50 boys/girls.  I want to keep encouraging MEI’s female students as their attention to detail makes them an asset in this industry.

Shop Upgrades

During my time here in the shop I have replaced nearly all the machines and made changes to the shop to allow for flow, function and more space.  I have eliminated outdated machines that are typically no longer used in today’s industry.

Future Upgrades and Goals

My next goal, and a big one at that is to have a full size 4×8 CNC and edge bander.  Our goal is not to take work away from the local companies but to be able to teach students from Computer Screen to CNC Machine all the processes involved in making cabinets and other pieces.  Along the way a student may realize that they like the AutoCAD part of the process, or the assembly or CNC machining.

With such a skills shortage in the British Columbia I am making it a priority to have as many students as possible exposed to these processes.   My desire is to have them at the next level where they aren’t just turning on a machine or pressing stop, but that they know the machine, can program it on the fly and are well aware of its use and function.

Please Consider Donating

The space in the shop has already being created and is ready for these machines.  My goal before COVID-19 was to have these machines installed in summer 2021.

To have any questions answered or to discuss how you might contribute to the program, please contact Terry Ward by email at

Tax Receipt Info

The MEI Advancement Office issues official charitable donation receipts annually by March 2 for the previous tax year in accordance with CRA regulations. Charitable Registration #107691065 RR0001

Restricted Fund Policy

Spending of funds is confined to MEI Schools approved programs and projects.  Each contribution directed toward an approved program or project will be used as restricted with the understanding that when the need for such a program or project has been met, or cannot be completed for any reason as determined by MEI Head of Schools, the remaining restricted contributions will be used where most needed.