Two SHS students receive full-tuition college scholarships

Two SHS students receive full-tuition college scholarships

As senior Dakota Binkley and his brother, sophomore Wyatt Binkley, climbed up a 55-foot utility pole during the annual Indiana Municipal Electric Association Lineworkers Rodeo, they saw the sunrise on Scottsburg’s horizon.

“I am afraid of heights,” Dakota Binkley said. “It’s kind of breathtaking.”

While the Scottsburg High School students were admiring the view, the crowd below, consisting of lineworkers from all across the United States, were taking notice of the next generation. The brothers caught the eye of a vice-president of a vocational technical college in Idaho. The college specializes in training and preparing future lineworkers for the field after students finish high school.

“The vice-president of the college called us and thought it was cool how we were interested in it,” Wyatt Binkley said.

The Binkley brothers were each offered a full-tuition scholarship to the lineworkers’ college.

“I was pretty excited,” said Dakota Binkley, who will start at the vocational technical college in August. “It was pretty amazing to me.”

The interest in becoming lineworkers and climbing tens of feet up utility poles stems from their father, who is the electric superintendent for the City of Scottsburg. For the last five years, the boys have been working with their father in their backyard, practicing climbing skills, learning techniques and procedures that are part of the trade.

“It’s outdoors. It’s not in an office,” said Wyatt Binkley, who started climbing when he was 12 years old. “You get to help people.”

“I started climbing with my dad. It kind of opened my eyes to it. I saw him climbing, and ever since I’ve tried it, I’ve just enjoyed it,” Dakota Binkley said.

After high school graduation, Dakota Binkley said he will start the lineworkers’ college in August. The program takes about four months to complete, so he will graduate in December 2016. From his technical education in Idaho, he will become an apprentice, which takes about four years to complete before becoming a journeyman. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a lineworker in 2014 was $61,740 per year and $29.68 per hour.

“I’d kind of like to work in Scottsburg,” Dakota Binkley said about his future.

Following in their father’s footsteps and putting in the hours of practice has paid off for Dakota and Wyatt Binkley. At Scott County School District 2, the Binkley brothers’ story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.