Woodworking class in Metro Detroit fashions paddle boards for celebrities

Chip and Joanna Gaines are about to join Kenny Chesney, Sarah Blakely, and Ty Pennington on a very exclusive list: the recipients of custom-made paddle boards created by high school students in Metro Detroit.

The Gaines are next on the list for a newly-carved wooden paddle board that's built at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights

While the celebrities are the beneficiaries of their new toys, the name recognition is only the cherry on top for the students enrolled in the coolest class in school.

"His class has honestly allowed me to see a vision and actually execute it and I feel with his class, I've actually done something useful," said Jozef Nrechaj, a senior at Henry Ford II.

The woodworking class is taught by Chris Davis. 

Six years ago, the teacher had the forethought to showcase the creations coming out of his class. The social media posts of the woodworking quickly made it onto the screens of celebrities, and it took off from there.

"Each board is specifically designed. You will never see a board that's exactly the same as another," Nrechaj said. "Every design is just completely different."

The designs are only a piece in a process that takes an entire school year to complete. The time it takes to create one board allows students to pick up woodworking skills from cutting and smoothing to working with lasers.

Along with the skills is a sense of achievement that only a famous person using the finished product can bring.

"I feel accomplished - I made this for this big person and when they end up loving it, I'm like ‘I did that’;" said Adrianna Chappelle, a senior.

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One of those ‘big’ people includes the British entrepreneur Richard Branson, who shared a clip of him using the board.

"I just want to say ‘thanks so much. I couldn't believe it what you all managed to achieve and here's to your teacher for letting you make thigns that could be fun or useable," he said.

In addition to the Gaines, the custom-made boards going out this year will also go toward Kelly Slater, a hero in the surfing community who has won the world championship 11 times.