Maureen Lynch, Superintendent
115 Amesbury Line Road
Haverhill, MA 01830
For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 18, 2019
Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Whittier Tech Wildcat Mascot to Be Featured in Parade Float
HAVERHILL — Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to share that Whittier Tech students have completed a large metal statue of the school’s mascot, a wildcat, that will be featured in the school’s float at the Haverhill VFW Santa Parade on Sunday.
Students studying metal fabrication at the school have worked over the last year to build a giant wildcat mascot that, after being showcased on a float in Sunday’s parade, will be installed on the school’s campus overlooking its new turf athletic field.
The Haverhill VFW Santa Parade will begin on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. in downtown Haverhill, and the theme of the event is “Santa Celebrates Haverhill’s Hometown Heroes.” Since September, art students at Whittier Tech have been preparing the float for the parade, under the guidance of art teacher Erin Foster, by painting cutout characters that represent “Hometown Heroes” including police officers, firefighters, teachers, doctors and members of the military, all wearing capes. Carpentry students made the character cut-outs, design and visual students created a logo for the float, CAD students printed the logo, electronics students provided lights and the auto body department allowed students to use spray booths to paint the characters.
“It’s really been fun. I’ve always wanted to work on this float,” said Alexia White, a senior from Merrimac. “I’ve seen it every year in the parade and I wanted to go to this school, so this is an accomplishment for me.”
The wildcat mascot statue is seven-feet tall, 18-feet long, and made its first public appearance at the Whittier Tech Open House earlier this month. All sophomores, juniors and seniors in the metal fabrication program participated in the project with Instructors Chris Gerber and Steve Palmer.
“The school wanted a mascot and metal fab came up with a proposal,” said A.J. Espinal, a senior, of Haverhill. “It’s a big accomplishment. To know we were the ones to complete this and it will be on school grounds forever makes me feel happy because it will be seen everyday.”
Dubbed “Mega Kitty,” the cat’s design was completed in Autocad and its blueprints were fed into a Vicon plasma cutter that created the metal pieces used to put it together. Students used a power shear to cut the edges and formed the metal in rollers and a brake machine. The pieces of metal were then tacked together with welding tacks, and a skeleton framework was built inside the cat to keep it from buckling.
“It showed the students what it takes to do big projects from start to finish,” Palmer said. “Some of our kids are going to be building skyscrapers in the future.”
“I’m proud we got it done and everyone will enjoy it,” said Racheal Galicia, a sophomore, of Haverhill. “It took hard work and teamwork. Without that we wouldn’t be close to finishing it.”
The cat has a large maroon and gold WT logo on its body and gold eyes. Over time, the metal will rust and turn a uniform light brown.