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Career and technical education standouts competes for state’s top honors
Special to the Herald
Three students at Greene County Vocational Technical Center are finalists for student of the year honors from the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation. Winners will be announced Friday, May 3, at the MCEF awards and graduation dinner in Pearl.
Kelby Holder, Walker Byrd and Anthony Melton, Jr., were named students of the month for MCEF’s southern region during the 2018-2019 school year, automatically qualifying as finalists for student of the year along with four other monthly district winners.
Instructor nominations for student of the month are based on grades, attendance, class discipline, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities and post-graduation plans. During the annual celebration, MCEF will honor a total of 27 statewide students of the month and announce four students of the year for north, south, south central and north central districts. Winners will receive $500 cash prizes.
Active in SkillsUSA and FFA, Holder demonstrates the importance of setting goals and delivering on them. Her passion as a leader inspired her FFA teammates to first-place honors in the opening and closing 2017 and 2018 district competitions and second-place finishes in the FFA 2017 federation opening and closing and the district opening and closing for SkillsUSA. A nominee for the Greene County High School Hall of Fame, she will attend a to-be-determined college upon graduation.
An avid member of SkillsUSA and the American Welding Society, Byrd is a standout in craft competitions across the state. He won first place in the 2017 Federation and District FFA Welding Team Competition while earning second place and posting the highest individual score in the 2017 state FFA Welding Competition. Upon graduation, Byrd plans to pursue an engineering degree at Mississippi State University.
Known for his leadership in his career and technical education classes, Melton serves as an officer for his SkillsUSA and FFA chapters. He participates in numerous craft competitions, including SkillsUSA Teamworks 2018, FFA opening and closing, and mechanics. He plans to boost his construction training through military service, eventually earning a degree in construction management from the University of Southern Mississippi.
“Our annual awards and graduation dinner is an opportunity to recognize Mississippi’s best and brightest students and to honor the hard work and dedication they’ve demonstrated in preparing for their futures,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. “These outstanding students also are helping ensure that Mississippi has a highly skilled workforce to support the state’s growing construction and manufacturing industries.”
Other student of the year finalists from the southern region are Kyle Albritton and Jared DeLancey, Jackson County Technology Center; Jason Fricke, Hancock County Career Technical Center; and Madelyn Rich, George County High School.
MCEF also will award $500 scholarships to winners of the MCEF and Mississippi State Board of Contractors scholarship program and award cash prizes to winners of the MCEF State Craft Competition. In addition, MCEF will recognize its 2018 apprentice graduates along with the 2017 State Craft Competition winners who competed in the 2018 National Craft Championship in Long Beach, CA.
The mission of the non-profit MCEF is to promote careers, recruit capable individuals and train a quality workforce for the construction and manufacturing industries in the state of Mississippi. MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades.
More awards day information is available by calling (601)605-2989 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about MCEF at http://mcef.net.
Vo-Tech Center instructors Stan Roberts and Dale Box said these students have worked hard to get where they are, and they have no doubt these students will succeed in their future endeavors with their skills.
“Anthony has really excelled in his skills,” Roberts said. “He went to state competition and did well there.”
“Kelby is President of the SkillsUSA here, and has shown great leadership skills. Both have done well and are deserving of their title.”
The GCHS Welding Team fabricated a firepit/grill for the MCEF metal fabrication competition that was held April 9 and 10 in Jackson. The MCEF sponsored the event, and students from across the state competed.
“The project brought high marks and several comments on the quality workmanship the students exhibited in all of the fabrication and welding,” Box said.