Seward welding instructor sparks interest in program

John Massey
John Massey

Tattoo sleeves crawling up both arms and a full beard is not the ordinary image of a college instructor, but John Massey, new welding instructor at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, is more than an ordinary instructor.

Massey’s vision for the welding program at the Area Technical School is to run the American Welding Society curriculum. The AWS curriculum includes Schools Excelling through National Skills standard Education (SENSE), and Massey feels that this will help the students get to know their strengths and weaknesses. “I think it’s a well-rounded program, and I think the students could do half a day of welding and half a day of books,” Massey said. “I am implementing a lot of changes with the help of Larry McLemore,” Massey said. He said McLemore is one of the kindest, most professional people he has ever met. McLemore, division chair of industrial technology at SCCC/ATS, was influential in Massey’s decision to come to back to Liberal, his childhood home, to work at SCCC/ATS.

Massey grew up in Liberal through age 13, when he moved to Hutchinson. Massey began working straight out of high school and then started attending college whenever he was 23. Massey came back to Liberal because of the opening of the welding instructor job after Roy Hamey retired last year. Massey was a TIG welding supervisor at Salina Vortex Corporation, until he began teaching night classes, part-time at Hutchinson Community College. TIG welding is an arc welding process known as tungsten arc welding that does not use any consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld.

This year’s welding students have positive vibes for newcomer Massey. Nolan Lobely and Matt Kell, both SCCC/ATS student, said, “John knows what he is doing and does a really good job at it.” ­­Massey was proud to say that the Industrial Division Technology Club is currently being in the process of being organized.

Evan Thornton is also a SCCC/ATS student; he, along with Lobely, and Kell, said they enjoy having Massey as an instructor. “John has a very good sense of humor. He wants to improve the program,” Thornton said. “Not only is he kind hearted, but he has high intellect. He cares about my life and not just the welding part. John reaches me on personal levels through education; welding is just a vessel in the way he wants to impact lives.”

Massey has three pit bulls, Buster who is 12 years old, Precious, 7 years old, and Smokey, who is 3 years old. His interests include continuing education, master’s degree, professional development, and the CWI/CWE Seminar in Tulsa, Okla. Massey’s hobbies include, shooting, football, and TIG welding. ­­

Massey has an associate of applied science degree in welding technology, a bachelor’s degree in technology management, and is working on his master’s degree in career and technology education. Massey will start taking online classes to get back into his master’s degree in the spring of 2015.

So Massey continues with his extraordinary style both in and out of the classroom. Why have a beard? “I have a beard because I hate shaving my face,” Massey said. Why have tattoos? “I like them,” Massey said.

john massey
John Massey