Skills competition highlights student skills
Graduating senior Massiah Spivey took a different paved path his last two years of high school. With an interest in working with his hands, Massiah enrolled in the masonry program at Broome-Tioga BOCES as a junior. In his senior year, his skills and talent flourished and he entered the Skills competition to see how he would match up against other students. He matched up well, first winning regionals and then states. Winning the state competition qualified him for nationals, held in Louisville, Kentucky the week before graduation.
Massiah competed against 40 students from around the country. Students are given a set of drawings for a masonry mock-up and have to build it using the exact materials, dimensions, specificities, and design as the drawing. They are also judged on safety, neatness, level, craftsmanship and probably the most difficult, plumb. The students are given six hours to complete the project. Students need to be able to work at a quick pace in order to complete it in that time frame while being extremely detailed. The competition was tough and while he did not place in the top 10, the experience of competing and working in the field will pay off as he moves forward in his career.
Broome-Tioga BOCES Masonry instructor Kyle Vimislik said Massiah is very particular, does not move on in a project until it is perfect (key in masonry), has excellent hand-eye coordination, and easily soaks in new information.
Vimislik said, “When you teach something to Massiah once, he’s got it.” At states and regionals, Massiah beat some very talented students, including one who already has a position with the local bricklayers union.
Vimislik added, “Massiah is a very special student. I have not had a student like him and don’t think I ever will.”
Massiah is heading to Italy to put his skills to use as a missionary.