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Making the Grade

Michael Pickels of Marion Center, Penn., is like many in masonry, he is both ambitious and hard working. After graduating from high school, Pickels worked for a full year as an apprentice bricklayer while applying to The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades in Media, Penn. Once accepted as a masonry student, he set out to prove the worthiness of his application.

In Pickel's first year at the trade school, he was elected class president, served on the student council, and was selected MVP of the school's cross country team. This year he is serving as assistant coach. Somehow Pickels also finds time to pursue his archery hobby.

Instructor Daniel Hiltebeitel has high praise for Pickels. "He's a fine young man and an excellent student at a very challenging school. He has accomplished so much already," Hiltebeitel says.

And, Hiltebeitel ought to know. He has been an instructor for 24 years, and three of his previous students placed among the top three in the National Masonry Contest in Kansas City, Mo. Hiltebeitel's 2001 student, Keith Parker, took first-place honors in the post secondary competition. Pickels placed seventh overall in the 2002 competition.

Thinking ahead, Pickels says, "I have a lot yet to do here at Williamson before I graduate, but some day I'd like to own my own construction company." In pursuit of that goal, Pickles plans to join the U.S. Air Force after graduation and take business courses while in the service.

Note: If you have an apprentice mason to nominate, contact:
J. David Holt,
c/o Holt Marketing Group, Inc.,
1906 Swift, North Kansas City, MO 64116
or fax to 816/842-9989.



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