RSS
TwitterFacebookGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn

April 2013: Making the Grade

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Making the Grade

Fulford now works as laborer for the National Park Service at Castillo de San Marcos.
Fulford now works as laborer for the National Park Service at Castillo de San Marcos.

Jacob Fulford twice finished in third place in the secondary division of the National Masonry Contest, held in conjunction with the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.
With a surprising lack of disappointment, Jacob says, “I wanted to win the competition, of course; but I’m happy and proud to have done as well as I did. I think it’s neat how it turned out. I won the Florida competition twice and, in my second national contest, there were only three points (out of a possible 1,000) between first place and my third place!”

Fulford graduated last May from Pedro Menendez High School in St. Augustine, Fla.

“I feel like I excelled from the beginning,” says Fulford, “but I really benefitted from the extra instruction I got from ‘Crutch.’”

“Crutch” would be James Crutchfield, who instructed Fulford in high school.

“I was Jacob’s instructor his sophomore and junior years,” says Crutchfield. “I coached him his senior year.”

Prior to Fulford’s senior year, the masonry program at Pedro Mendenez High School was eliminated, and Crutchfield took a fulltime position as the head mason at Castillo de San Marcos, a Spanish fort constructed near St. Augustine in 1672. As such, it is the oldest masonry fort and the only extant 17th Century fort in North America. A national monument, it is operated by the National Park Service.

Crutchfield felt he had a lot invested in his students, so he stayed on as a volunteer SkillsUSA coach, instructing the boys on Fridays as well as evenings and weekends, when the boys desired.

“We had a great team,” says Crutchfield. “I never made them practice. They wanted it. They wanted to get better.

“We won our regionals four years in a row,” he continues. “The last two years, students from our seven-man team placed one, two and three in the Florida State competition. And, of course, Jacob represented us well at two national contests.

“Jacob is a conscientious, hard worker,” Crutchfield adds. “He’ll do anything you ask him to do. He’s energetic and fun to work with. Jacob has come a long way from when we started working together five years ago.”

Fulford and Crutchfield now work together as laborer and supervisor for the National Park Service at Castillo de San Marcos.

In summer 2010, having heard of the SkillsUSA masonry team at the nearby high school, the National Park Service hired all seven masonry students and their instructor for a special project at Castillo de San Marcos. The next summer, the NPS re-hired Crutchfield, Fulford and another student. With the masonry program at Pedro Menendez High School cancelled, Crutchfield stayed on as a fulltime mason, while Fulton returned to finish his senior year of high school.

Crutchfield later recommended Fulford when he was hired as his mason-helper as soon as Fulford returned from the National Masonry Contest in Kansas City, Mo.
“Jacob is in a special student program with the Park Service,” says Crutchfield. “He has his job as long as he stays in school.”

Fulford is upholding his obligation by attending classes two nights a week at nearby St. Johns River State College. He intends to complete his associate degree.
“I really hope to stay in masonry with the Park Service,” says Fulford.

“First, preservation masonry really interests me; and second, I think there’s always going to be work. The National Park Service looks after over 25,000 structures and things are always deteriorating!

“In preservation or restoration masonry,” Fulford continues, “it’s all about figuring out how to make it better without destroying the historical fabric of the structure. You want to be able to see it as it was.”

Crutchfield stresses the importance of authentic materials and tools in historical masonry restoration. “We use hand tools and mortar mixes that are historically accurate to the times. They are different than what we use today.  Old-timers who used lime-based mixes better understand what we are doing,” says Crutchfield.

“The other important issue in masonry restoration, especially stone work, is knowing what to keep and what to replace,” says Crutchfield. “I was taught by a mobile masonry restoration team from the NPS. I’m passing on what I learned to Jacob.”

Return to Table of Contents

Related Posts

  • 43
    August 2008 Masonry Industry Awards Brick Industry Works to Build Future Companies and organizations of the masonry industry joined together in June to support the 44th annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference and the National Masonry Championships. For up to six hours, 45 young masons from 35 states competed…
    Tags: masonry, place, national, school, high, contest
  • 41
    September 2009 Making the Grade Jared Gandy:  Winner and Entrepreneur Jared Gandy is the winner of the secondary division of the 45th Annual SkillsUSA National Masonry Contest, thanks to his high standards and extraordinary work ethic. A recent graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School in Mt. Pleasant, N.C., Gandy was…
    Tags: masonry, high, national, skillsusa, work, school, contest
  • 39
    Masonry Design, a sister publication of Masonry Magazine, has begun a series of articles in which contributors talk about their typical workday. The goal is to provide some insight into how colleagues (and even some future colleagues) go about their day in the hope that it may inspire others, or alter their routines…
    Tags: masonry, work, school
  • 35
    October 2012 Making the Grade The Future Is Certain Hartsell works on his winning composite project Jordan Hartsell’s father, Darren, is a masonry instructor at nearby Jay M. Robinson High School. When Jordan attended Central Cabarrus High School, Todd Hartsell (unrelated) was his instructor and has sponsored nine national masonry…
    Tags: masonry, national, high, contest, school
  • 34
    February 2013 Making the Grade CWhere Are They Now: Porter Soley and Sons By J. David Holt (Left to right) The Soley Brothers: Jason, John, Daniel and Caleb flanked on the right by their father and masonry instructor at Pearl River Community College, Porter Soley. For masonry work in southern…
    Tags: masonry, national, work, skillsusa, contest

MASONRY MAGAZINE VIDEO NEWS

S26 HEPA Dust Extractor From Pullman Ermator

Ermator HEPA Dust Extractors are equipped with tested and certified HEPA filters that trap the smallest, most dangerous-to-breath dust particles and prevents them from being released in the air. A HEPA Dust Extractor not only exhausts perfectly clean air, it is far more efficient for the fast recovery of bulk dry dust, debris and other building materials found on every Construction, Abatement and Restoration job site.

Drilling and Chiseling Hammer Demonstration | CS Unitec

CS Unitec Drilling and Chiseling Hammer type 2 2414 0010 demonstration. For more information on the tools, drills and other products seen in this video, please visit: http://www.csunitec.com/hammer-drills/

PumpMaster | Masonry Grout Pump for Core Filling | Block Fill | Masonry Wall Grouting

The AIRPLACO PumpMaster PG-30 is shown on a jobsite in Nashville, TN with Masonry Contractor WASCO, Inc. ...