HAVERHILL – Junior Steve Quimby is the most talented high school mason in the state. He said he surprised himself when he won a gold medal in masonry at the statewide SkillsUSA competition in Marlborough last weekend. It took him seven hours to build a four-foot block wall which then had to be bricked and mortared to precision. “It wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve done,” he said. In the masonry shop at Whittier, he has built brick archways that have been more challenging. “I’ve had a lot of practice in shop,” he said. I felt prepared.”
Masonry Instructor Raymond Morneau said he knew his student was determined to do well this year after he did not have time to finish his wall during last year’s competition. “He’s driven.” he said. “He has a good work ethic. He’s on task at all times and he follows instructions well. He wants to do well.”
Because he won gold at the state level, Steve will now compete against the best masonry students in the country at the 48th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City June 23-27. “I’m excited to go to nationals and see what opportunities that can bring me,” he said. He plans to work as a mason after he graduates in 2013.
Steve was one of 16 medalists from Whittier in the statewide competition, and the only winner of gold. However, two CAD Drafting students who won silver medals in 3D Design Visual and Animation found out today they became eligible to compete nationally in Kansas City because the gold medal winners will not be able to attend.
“We’re thrilled,” said Electronics Teacher Robert Makem, a long-time SkillsUSA Advisor at Whittier. “Those students have what it takes to do well at the national level.”
The other medalists from Whittier are:
3D Design Visual and Animation - Emiliano Rodriguez and Andrew Slejzer, CAD Drafting
Electronic Technology - Nathan Bernard
Extemperaneous Speech - Dan Muise
Career Pathways Showcase - Human Service - Bryn Kieras, Office Tech, Jayna Grover, Marketing
Office Technology -- Sabrina Schiavoni,
Diesel Technology -- Sam King
Health Knowledge Bowl Team - Callie Merrill, Robert Shrubes, Alexandra Perez, Elissa Bornstein
Advertising Design - Tyler Girard, Design and Visual Communications
Precision Machine Technology - Jason Gudis
Culinary Arts - Brittany Johnson
Along with developing students’ leadership skills, SkillsUSA encourages vocational high school and college students to demonstrate their technical skills and academic achievements. SkillsUSA competitions are held each year at the state, national and international levels. Whittier students participate in these events every year and have won many medals at the state and national level.