Student nails national Skills title
Education: Cole Chapman wins carpentry event
By: John Barlow
| Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 01:43 pm
Last week Cole Chapman, 17, captured the gold medal in the Skills Canada carpentry competition held in Edmonton. Chapman’s gold medal capped an impressive run by Okotoks students at the Skills Canada competitions.
Chapman said to finally win the gold was an incredible experience, but he was actually more anxious during the provincial competition held earlier this month.
“I was very nervous for provincials,” said Chapman during a break from class at Foothills Composite. “I wanted it really bad and when I won I was definitely really excited. It was a big confidence booster.”
Chapman carried that confidence into the national Skills Canada competition where, as the provincial champion, he represented Alberta in the carpentry event.
Competitors from across Canada gathered in Edmonton May 14-16 to compete in a number of events from carpentry to animation to baking.
In carpentry the students were given two days and minimal guidelines to build a gazebo.
The key to being successful said Chapman was being efficient, accurate and critical of one’s own work.
“You need to be picky,” he said. “I am competitive by nature and you needed math smarts; there was a lot of math involved especially at the national level.”
Upon completion Chapman was confident he had done well.
“Seeing how everyone else was working I was pretty confident I had it,” he said. “Then when my name was called it was unbelievable, something I will never forget.”
It also was a substantial stress relief as Chapman and his teacher Cyril Reschny had been working for weeks preparing for regionals, provincials and nationals.
They estimated they had put in more than 140 hours of practice after school in preparation for Skills competitions.
Chapman gave a great deal of credit to Reschny for his support.
“He had a huge impact on what I did,” he said. “Not every teacher would put in the time he put in. It is nice to have a teacher who is committed to this. Without him I would not have placed.”
Reschny said he was pleased Chapman was able to finish high school with a gold medal after competing in Skills since Grade 10.
“I am extremely proud of him,” said the construction teacher. “He put the time in.”
Reschny said the teaching staff has been committed to doing well at Skills Canada.
They would not be as successful without the commitment from the staff and the Foothills School Division which ensures the funding is in place for professional standard tools and resources for the trades program at the schools.
The Foothills Composite High School’s resources were given a significant boost the Skills Canada competition as well.
The Okotoks school was one of five chosen out of 60 schools competing to be given tools used at Skills Canada.
The value of the donation is estimated at more than $12,000 in tools for the school.
Foothills Composite High School sent 20 students to Skills Canada provincials and came home with three medals including Chapman’s gold and Kurtis Molvik and Tayler Epp won silver in 2D animation and Christopher Durnan and Matt Smith also won silver in 3D animation.
Also placing at provincials were Lia Grzyb who placed fifth in Architectural Design, Matthew Carr was eighth in auto service, Barnaby Doel was fifth and Alex Brown eighth in joinery, Jules Van Irsel was fourth in Mechanical CADD, Tibor Van den Wildenbergh was seventh and Brendan Forchuk 16th in carpentry and Alex Goodman was 18th in baking.
Foothills Composite grads continue to do well at Skills Canada as well.
Competing for SAIT at the post-secondary provincials Courtney Thomas won gold in baking, Kale Parker won gold in carpentry, and Nik Kitt won gold and Dylan Cunningham earned bronze in welding.