Seven SRSS students won medals in various departments at Skills Manitoba.

David Wall picked up gold in the welding division. 

He explains what he had to do in the competition. 

“I had to fabricate a big hunk of steel representing all my welds, and then after building it, I had to weld it all up in the tight time frame.” 

He explains what the judges were looking for. 

“It’s a beauty contest for sure. They're looking for consistency and clean welds.” 

Wall has enjoyed welding for quite a few years. 

“In grade five, there was a 555 camp here at the school and I tried a few trades and welding was the one that stuck for sure.” 

Samara Baltazer got gold in car painting. 

Samara Baltazer

She explains what her project entailed. 

“There's three parts to it. There's painting, there's fixing a fender, and there's taking out a run and polishing it.” 

Baltazer says she was a bit nervous when she showed up. 

"The fact that there were a lot more people than I expected, that's when I started getting very nervous.” 

She offers some thoughts on why her project earned top spot.

“Really just following exactly what they asked me to do and not tweaking anything."

Baltazer recalls her beginnings in car painting. 

“Try-a-trade in grade nine, it was my last try-a-trade and I figured, 'I'm a very hands-on person.' I've always, always, always loved working with my hands. Carpentry, I love doing that. Collision repair was just one of the many things that I enjoy, and it stuck and now I'm good at it and I like it so why not keep at it?” 

Micah Bergman was in the carpentry department and won gold. 

Micah Bergman

He explains what he had to do for the competition. 

“I had to build a play structure, about 8 feet tall and within six hours.” 

Bergman talks about what he thinks nailed down the victory for him. 

“Definitely the roof system, the rafters and getting the pitch right and just fastener placements." 

He explains what started his love of carpentry. 

"My dad did construction and my grandpa has done construction, I guess it runs the family. I have friends doing it and it ended up being my major.” 

Jordyn Andrews got a silver medal in cabinet making.

Jordyn Andrews

Andrews has enjoyed woodworking ever since picking it up in middle school. 

"My first taste of woodworking was in 8th grade in shops class."

Bernd Seibel got gold in the same competition.

Bernd Seibel

“I grew up around lots of woodwork and different kinds of trades.” 

Alyse Unrau won a gold medal in hairstyling. 

Alyse Unrau

She explains the details of the competition. 

“You could pick what you wanted to do in regard to the haircut. There were a couple specifications in that it had to be blue, asymmetrical, and had to have a curl of some sort. And the braiding, they pulled it out-of-the-box and said, ‘you have to recreate this’ and we had an hour and a half to copy the mannequin.” 

Unrau says what she thinks secured her the win. 

“The pop of color on the haircut was probably it. There was a lot of good stuff. But having that something eye-catching from far away and from close-up was probably what they were looking for.” 

Easten Levesque got silver in auto body repair. 

Easten Levesque

Levesque explains what he had to do in the competition. 

“I had to repair and section a rocker and weld it back together. I had to do metal sheet repair, so we had two dents, we had to metal repair one dent, put hot putty and fill the other dent and sand it. And then we also had a third section that we had to do plastic repair, so there was a cut in the plastic, we had to groove it out and fill it in and make it ready for primer.” 

He says what the hardest part was. 

“The sheet metal repair was a bit tough, but I'd say welding is the hardest because it takes most energy to do because you have to cut and weld and grind and everything.” 

Levesque says what he excelled at in the challenge. 

“I had really good welds on my rocker, and everything was really clean on it. And I was able to finish in time. And my plastic repair was really good too, the judges liked it. It was well done, and it was well thought out.” 

He says why he enjoys auto body repair. 

“It's just satisfying, and I like making things with my hands and keeping busy with my hands and I like welding and painting and just being in the automotive industry.” 

The seven students

With files from Corny Rempel