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Making the Grade

His instructor tells it best.

"Josh started in our vocational program as a freshman," says Darin Steva, Josh Knudtson's instructor at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa. "His first interest in our building trades class was cabinetmaking. He placed third in the state of Iowa SkillsUSA—VICA competition that year. The following summer he found a job with a local masonry company, and he's concentrated on that trade since."

"Can you believe it?" Steva asks. "This young man did so well in cabinetmaking, then turned around and did even better in masonry."

Knudtson represented Iowa in the national masonry contest held this past summer in Kansas City, Mo., in conjunction with the SkillsUSA—VICA National Leadership and Skills Conference. He competed in the secondary division.

Returning to high school, Knudtson added to his academic and masonry efforts by participating in football, soccer and track.

He was also an active member of the Technical Student Association (TSA). Knudtson started out as a local officer his freshman year. By the end of the year, Knudtson had been elected Iowa TSA State Treasurer.

This past fall — while simultaneously participating in SkillsUSA — Knudtson was elected Secretary of the Iowa State Association.

Even though Knudtson's father owns a residential construction business, he gives credit to his instructor.

"Mr. Steva taught me everything I know about masonry," Knudtson says.

Knudtson graduated in February and currently works for Burkett Masonry, earning money to continue his education. He is considering a number of community colleges in Iowa.



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