Junior Chris Makekau likes being a hands-on person, so it's no wonder Jamie McAteer calls him her go-to person when she needs something done.
"Chris Makekau is so wonderful. He's one of those kids a high school director hopes for. He wants to learn," said McAteer, the drama director at Augusta Preparatory Day School, where Chris has been a student since the sixth grade. "When something technical needs to be done - lighting or construction - I just pull Chris aside and say, 'Hey, we need to get this done. Grab some kids and let's see what you can come up with.' He's on it."
During the school's spring production of Into The Woods, Chris served as the lighting designer and head electrician. When McAteer needed some stairs built for the set, she quickly called on her young student.
"Earlier in the year I said, 'Chris, we need four sets of stairs about this - holding my hands out - big. Ever built stairs before?' Chris replies, 'No, but I'll figure it out.' By the end of that afternoon I had stairs," McAteer said.
Chris said the hands-on approach is something he thoroughly enjoys.
"I guess I really just enjoy building things and hands-on jobs," said the 17-year-old son of Ruben and Bridgett Makekau, of Martinez. He has been considering a career in engineering, which will allow him to put that hands-on approach to work.
"He comes into the theater during free times during the day, sometimes gobbling down lunch to spend his lunch period working," McAteer said. "He comes after school, late in the night, even on weekends. You can give him something to build, tell him to experiment, and he'll figure it out."
When he's not working on a set for the school's theater productions, Chris can be found playing golf - he's been on the school's golf team for three years - or doing service projects with the Boy Scouts of America.
In October 2004, he earned his Eagle Scout, scouting's highest honor, by landscaping the front of Martinez Elementary School. A former pupil of the school, Chris has younger brothers who are pupils there.
"I went to school there and it was a way to give back," said Chris, a B-average student who also is on the school's math team and is a member of the International Thespians Society.
Chris also has a passion for building models. He has built about 10 car and rocket models in recent years.
"I think I've always been that way," he said of putting his hands to work. "I think I just enjoy making something for myself."
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