Ethan Blackshear, a Graves County High School junior, is quietly making a name for himself in the welding program at the Mayfield/Graves ATC.

“He’s so quiet, really reserved,” said Charles Price, his instructor, who nominated him for last week’s honors as the Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky’s Technical Student of the Week.

“I mean, he comes in and he takes care of business. He’s smart enough that he doesn’t have to ask a lot of questions,” Price said.

“He just goes into his welding booth and disappears. When we’re in class, he sits there and listens and does what he’s supposed to. He’s one of the best students I’ve got.”

Blackshear took inspiration from the fact that his father took the same type of (welding) classes in school.

“I just thought I’d like it, too,” he said. Now in his second year, he admits “the first year was kind of ‘iffy. But I still liked it and wanted to do more of it and get better at it.”

Away from the classroom, the son of Heather and Jason Blackshear is an accomplished bowler, with a 299 game, a 778 (three-game) series and a 214 average among his credits. He has also earned multiple first-place plaques.

To explain his interest in kegling, “My birthday is Jan. 30, so it’s in the winter,” Blackshear said. “You can’t really do anything in the winter ... so I just went bowling.”

Blackshear’s likely plan after high school is to attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College to pursue a degree in welding and computer science.

Price made it clear that having a rather quiet student who shows up to class and does the work is a good thing.

“I’m sure if I asked more of him, he would come through and do whatever I asked him to do,” he said.

“I’d be happy to have a whole class like him.”