Five SRSS students recently competed at the Skills Canada National Competition. 

David Wall, Samara Baltazar, Micah Bergman, Alyse Unrau, and Bernd Seibel all won gold in their respective competitions at Skills Manitoba

The students performed very well at Nationals, with four of them coming back home with medals. 

David Wall, Samara Baltazar, Micah Bergman, Alyse Unrau, and Bernd SeibelBernd Seibel, David Wall, Samara Baltazar, Micah Bergman, and Alyse Unrau (from left to right).

David Wall won gold in welding. 

He shares that he had been practicing every day in preparation for the competition. 

“I wanted a medal badly, I did a lot of training at home for that. We got a welding machine at home and I would grab as much scrap metal as I can weld together every day,” he says. “I worked hard for it, so I wanted a metal, I knew I was capable of it.” 

He says during the competition days, there were some ups and downs, but he was pleasantly surprised when he got the results. 

“At the end of it all, I expected somewhere between 4th and 2nd, I didn't expect 1st though.” 

Wall says it was a great experience traveling to Quebec City for Nationals and being able to compete with people from across Canada. 

“It was very, very cool to be competing against big provinces like Ontario, Alberta, that was definitely a blast.” 

Wall shares what he thinks gave him an advantage against the other competitors. 

“Using a certain mode of transfer, using pulse welding, that helped me a lot. There's a certain mode in those fancy machines that no one else used but me, and anyone could have used it, and I just so happened to be the only one using it now. Each time I used that mode, it was so, so nice and pretty and smooth and I feel bad for everyone who didn't use it.” 

David Wall won gold in welding. 

Samara Baltazar got silver in car painting. 

She says at first she was excited, and then once the day finally came, she started getting very nervous. 

“I started seeing how many people there actually were, and it just made me realize that it's just such a huge deal. But it was amazing being able to meet the other competitors for car painting, and just learning how to work as a team for each others safety. But overall, I was very nervous pretty much the whole time.” 

There were around six different things competitors in car painting had to do. 

Baltazar says there was polishing, masking, blending a panel, tinting, looking at a color and making it from zero, and priming a bumper.  

“It was definitely hard. It was very hard doing something and realizing I had made mistakes that I knew were going to be crucial, that I don't usually make, and that's kind of what pushed me to— in the next area, to just be better and to concentrate more each time to just push myself a little bit harder.” 

Samara Baltazar

Micah Bergman got bronze in carpentry, he was given 12 hours to build a miniature size playhouse. 

“We had to frame some walls, put some railings in, frame a roof, add lots of finishing and that kind of thing.” 

He says he was really excited and surprisingly calm, up until the horn went off. 

“And then I was like ‘ohh boy’, I was kind of freaking out. Took me like 5 or 10 minutes to look at the plans and chill out, but once I started building I was just doing my thing.” 

Bergman says what likely got him the medal is that he was able to finish on time. 

“I was one of three people to actually finish, so that's definitely part of it.” 

Micah Bergman

Alyse Unrau got bronze in hairstyling. 

She says the competition ended up being a lot bigger than she expected, noting you could see the other competitions going on right next to your own. 

Unrau says it felt good to get third knowing all the other competitors won gold in their own provincial competitions. 

“It was crazy to think that they all had won and then I placed third still in comparison.” 

There were four mannequins competitors had to work on.  

They had to do a partial perm with a haircut, an upstyle, a cut color and style, and then a men's haircut without clippers. 

Unrau shares what she thinks secured her the bronze medal. 

“The last one was replication, so they give you a photo and you have to do exactly that. I’m pretty good at doing that, so that was good.” 

Alyse Unrau


With files from Corny Rempel