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Making the Grade

In this case, "Father does know best." The father is Bret Pickens, and he has been a masonry instructor for 22 years. In that time, he has sponsored six national masonry contestants, including the 1991 winner. It's no surprise, therefore, that his son, Chad, is well taught.

Following just his first year in the masonry program at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Okla., Chad won his state masonry contest. As a result, he represented Oklahoma this past summer in the secondary division of the national masonry contest held in conjunction with the 40th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Other honors came quickly as well. Chad was the Oklahoma A.G.C. scholarship winner and placed third in Oklahoma's "Fastest Trowel" contest, sponsored by Dolese.

Masonry is not the only thing that keeps Chad busy. He's very active in his school, his church, in agriculture, and he works, too. For two years, Chad was Vice President of the Future Farmers of America chapter in Stillwater. His active commitment to his church includes two recent mission trips to Honduras, where he assisted with the construction of a school. Chad also works as a farm and ranch hand and as a laborer for Mike White Masonry and Pickens Masonry.

A senior in high school, Chad will complete the masonry program this year and plans to attend college next year.



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