Welding and Metal Fabrication student Francesco DelGallo took a turn in the spotlight recently, being filmed at our Career & Technical School for an upcoming segment of the national home improvement show “This Old House.”
With classmates hard at work in the background, DelGallo spoke to “This Old House” host Kevin O’Connor about his experience in the program and his future aspirations, then taught O’Connor how to weld.
“It’s really cool. I really enjoy welding and it’s cool that I get to show off my skills on a TV show. I never thought I would be doing a welding demonstration on national TV,” the Schalmont High School senior said.
DelGallo’s rise to national notoriety started last year when Evan Williamson, a teacher at Schalmont High School, asked DelGallo to help make goals for a backyard ice rink. Williamson is rebuilding the ice rink as part of a larger restoration of his 1864 Saratoga Springs home, which will be featured on “This Old House” in August 2022.
When producers learned of DelGallo’s work on the ice rink goals, they wanted to include him.
“Welding is my passion.”
An eight-person production crew spent five hours on our Albany campus preparing for and capturing footage of DelGallo and his classmates for an episode of the 43-year-old show.
With the cameras rolling, O’Connor and DelGallo were filmed in a “sit-down interview” in welding teacher Don Mattoon’s classroom, then DelGallo invited the TV show host to help fabricate and weld one of the hockey goals he is making.
Throughout the filming, DelGallo told O’Connor of his desire to join the family pool business and how attending our Career &Technical School has been life-changing.
“I wanted to be a marine biologist. My goal was to be certified for scuba diving, which I am now certified in, and then go to college for it,” DelGallo said. “I came to BOCES just to learn a skill to have in my back pocket, something to fall back on if I needed it. I started doing welding more and I realized I don’t want to be a marine biologist. Welding is my passion.”
The high school senior has been working on his own goals—and the hockey goals!—with the help of Mattoon and classmate Hunter Hebler, who joined the filming to help with pipe bending.
“It’s fun and pretty interesting,” Hebler, from Guilderland High School, said as he watched the filming.
The production crew from “This Old House” had high praise for the students, Mattoon and the entire Welding and Metal Fabrication program.
“I love what Francesco is doing and I am happy to be able to do something to bring more young people to the trades,” said Christopher Ermides, a producer and editor for the show.