Woman In Woods

Hope Verhage is conquering woods class day by day


Makayla Brackett

Hope Verhage assembling her drop leaf table.

Makayla Brackett and Bianca Dillon

Sophomore Hope Verhage is one of two girls taking Woods 2 at Elkhorn High School. She has been participating in woodshop-related classes since her freshman year. Verhage is also a dancer for Elkhorn Dance Academy and the EHS Dance Team. Dancing has been a big part of her life, considering she has been dancing since she was six years old. 

“Dance takes up all of my time,” Verhage said. “In my spare time, I usually am dancing or sleeping.”

For as long as Verhage can remember, she has been around woodshop-related things because her parents are involved in the workshop. Her parents always influence her to create her own stuff while supporting her to let all of her creativity out.

“I felt just normal at the beginning of the school year; I did feel kinda weird because I didn’t really know any of the guys in the class except Chris,” Verhage said.

Now she says that it’s just everyday life because she has gotten to know everyone. The class has become part of her daily routine, and she wouldn’t feel complete without starting her day in the woodshop. 

Sixteen-year Woodshop teacher, Jon Olson, says that he is really happy when he sees girls participating in the male-dominated class since most girls end up taking Woods 1 and not continuing on the path, unlike Verhage.

“I think she’s found success in doing Woods, and I think it comes easy to her. I think she likes the challenge of using a different part of her brain to figure stuff out and use problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are involved with the class,” Olson said.

Olson hopes to see more women in this class and this field in general.

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