LSMSA students build boats and life skills
Two years after the first boat-building class LSMSA Principal Lecturer of Visual Arts Chris King taught was halted due to the pandemic, a new round of students was able to complete the project.
Rising LSMSA senior Carter Copsey (’23) of Loranger was one of those students. In the spring of 2022, he and his class partner Julia Ferrell ('22) of Natchitoches named their 14-foot boat Brandy.
“It got to where we were going in after other classes to work on Brandy – it turned out to be a great way to destress,” says Carter. “Even the simple things like sanding and applying coats and coats of paint were just kind of relaxing.”
At the end of the semester, King took students to the Cane River Lake to put their work to the test.
“I had every confidence in how Brandy would do on the water,” recalls Carter, who was able to take Brandy home after the project was completed. “It was so much fun to see her in action for the first time.”
King’s inspiration to teach boat-building came from two weeks he spent team-teaching with experienced builder Chris Balch at The Fenn School in Massachusetts in 2019 thanks to donor generosity.
“I'm very grateful for the opportunity to take that class,” says Carter. “How many high school kids can say they’ve built a boat? It was a great experience.”
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is the preeminent state-supported residential high school with competitive admissions for Louisiana's high-achieving, highly-motivated sophomores, juniors, and seniors. As a public school, there is no tuition to attend, and assistance from the LSMSA Foundation ensures the program is available to all qualifying students regardless of family financial need.