PHS receives wood-carved donation from alumnus
Porterville High School was recently given a gift that will likely become an icon on the campus for years to come.
Jeff Jones, a Porterville Union High School Class of 1967 graduate, spent the last few years designing, engineering and creating a beautiful hand-carved mahogany panther for his upcoming 50th class reunion. After the reunion, Jones has decided to donate the statue to the school.
“I have been a wood carver my whole life, and carving a statue like this for the school is something that has always been on my bucket list. The 50th class reunion seemed like the right time to make it a reality,” said Jones.
Weighing over 400 pounds, the statue is carved from mahogany and sits on a fiberglass shell supported by a steel frame. Jones did all of the work himself, which was documented by his wife and high school sweetheart, Jackie (PHS Class of 1969). She has also donated all of the photo documentation to the school so that the work that went into the creation can be shared as well.
After the Class of ’67 reunion breakfast in the Panther Den, the statue will be put on permanent display in the Library Media Center.
Jeff Jones went to Ducor School before graduating from Porterville Union High School. He then went on to Porterville College, and graduated from California State University, Fresno with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1972.
He is currently the senior vice-president of E & B Natural Resources. He has worked in the Kern County Oil Industry for his entire career, and has been recognized as a Distinguished Lecturer as well as the Production Engineer of the Year by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Porterville Union High School Class of 1967 graduate Jeff Jones stands next to the hand-carved wooden panther that he made and donated to Porterville High School.