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Making the Grade

Andrew Miller, a 17-year-old senior at Pisgah High School in Pisgah, Ala., knows exactly what he wants to do after graduation. He wants to be just like his father, Terry, owner of a masonry construction business.

Miller's effort to make his dream become a reality began when he started masonry classes at the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology (EPCOT), an educational extension of eight Alabama high schools.

As a sophomore, Miller won the state SkillsUSA-VICA competition. As first-place winner, he went on to compete at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The following year, Miller again won his state competition. More determined and focused in his second national competition, Miller placed second and earned a silver medal in the National Masonry Contest held in conjunction with the SkillsUSA-VICA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

"Andrew is a hard-working student that any instructor would enjoy having in their classroom," says Charles Wes, masonry instructor at EPCOT. "He is polite, enthusiastic and a smart young man. Most importantly, he never shies from accepting and meeting a challenge. Considering Andrew's accomplishments in just two years of masonry, I feel like I have an opportunity, as an instructor, to help him meet his potential of becoming a world-class craftsman."

Miller continues to work to improve his masonry skills by working with his father. He says he hopes to represent the state of Alabama and return to the national masonry contest where his goal is to win it. If successful, Miller would place himself among an elite group of young masons, not only winning the competition, but also competing three consecutive years





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