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June 2007

Making the Grade

Heath Drye was presented a unique opportunity and he was smart enough to not just take advantage of it, but to capitalize on it.

Shortly after he began classes at Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, N.C., the school's masonry instructor convinced Drye to begin taking masonry classes. He took his instructor's advice to heart and began serious preparation for a career. After his first year in the program, Drye also started working for a mason contractor during the summer.

Drye studied masonry for three years, competing and earning first place honors in the North Carolina state fair masonry competition and the post- secondary state masonry competition. In addition, Drye earned second place honors in the North Carolina state competition and the Adams Products apprentice competition.

During the summers of 2003 and 2004, he worked for Gary Cox Masonry in Rockwell, N.C. In the summer of 2005, he worked for Clyde Allmon Masonry in Mount Pleasant, N.C.

During the spring of 2006, Drye honed his skills at Alward Masonry, also in Mount Pleasant, in preparation for the national masonry contest, held in conjunction with the National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo. Drye won second place honors in the post-secondary division of that national contest.

Drye's instructor, Doug Drye (no relation), said of Heath, "He is an unusual young man — top notch and multi-talented. He is, and will be, a tribute to our trade."

Drye majored in physics at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C. Upon graduation, he enrolled at North Carolina State University, where he is working on his master's degree in construction engineering management. He also is currently employed by Griffin Masonry, in Mint Hill, N.C.

In his spare time, Drye enjoys men's slow-pitch softball and hunting.



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