TORONTO — Mason McLeod of Chesterville helped put the Upper Canada District School Board on the medals podium during the recent 2018 Skills Ontario Competition.
The Grade 12 North Dundas District High School student earned bronze in the heating systems technician competition at the May 7-9 event that took place in the Toronto Congress Centre.
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.
Alex Edwards received 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.
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.