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May 2007

Making the Grade

Mike Grafton was a great student," said Joe Luchtenburg, masonry instructor at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "He graduated with perfect attendance and a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Just as important, Mike was a model student who had a great desire to learn and to retain all of the information he was taught."

Grafton is just as generous in the praise for his instructor. "Mr. Luchtenburg definitely teaches masonry with great passion," Grafton said. "He makes it great to learn."

Luchtenburg, whose students have won four consecutive state masonry contests, counters with a positive prediction. "Michael Grafton is a very hard worker, one that any masonry contractor would love to have as an employee. He will have a future filled with success."

Grafton's honors include placement on the Kirkwood Community College Dean's list for two semesters and his first-place finish in the Iowa SkillsUSA masonry contest.

Grafton started in masonry when he realized that it was always a personal interest. "I have always loved the way masonry looked, and it will be seen by all," Grafton recalled.

During his technical training at Kirkwood Community College, Grafton worked at Monroe Tile in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now, Grafton is an apprentice mason and a member of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 in Cedar Rapids.

When he is not laying brick and block, Grafton said that he likes spending time with his children and playing disk golf.



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