Brockville – Two Upper Canada District School Board students medalled recently at the 2018 Skills Ontario Competition, held May 7-9 at the Toronto Congress Centre.
Alex Edwards earned gold for his skills in individual carpentry. The Grade 12 student at Athens District High School was challenged to produce a small doghouse, a wishing well, and a large doghouse.
Mason McLeod, a Grade 12 student at North Dundas District High School earned bronze in the heating systems technician competition.
Edwards said a gold medal exceeded his expectations for the competition, after placing ninth in Ontario last year at the same event.
“I set a goal of coming in the top three and I came in first,” said Edwards. “It was overwhelming.”
He said a key to his victory was the instruction of his teacher at ADHS, Robert St. Onge. He also credited his placement to a longstanding love of carpentry, which began at age 7 when his parents first let him hammer nails into boards. His long-term dream first expressed at Grade 8 graduation, is to open his own business – Edwards Carpentry. He now moves on to the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton June 4-5.
McLeod was tasked with disassembling a blower motor out of a furnace, stripping it of its wiring and fan, and then properly reassembling it – all while wearing proper safety equipment. He also had to connect the wires on a wiring board, and complete a 30-question written test and a mock job interview.
He said the bronze boosted his confidence and credited a co-op placement in the trade for helping him finish third.