Manila students win state awards
Matt Oates and Jeff Pennington, Manila high school students, recently won state awards in pipe welding and plate cutting.
The two young men take vocational-education classes at the Arkansas Northeastern College Burdette Center each day along with the regular high school curriculum. The state competition was held in Hot Springs at the Arkansas Career Training Institute.
Matt, a senior at MHS, won first place in state in the pipe welding division. He received a medal, a welding helmet, and a full paid scholarship to attend ANC at Burdette.
Matt is the son of Allan and Deloris Oates.
Matt has been taking ag classes for three years. He said pipe welding is the most difficult of all types of welding for him.
He plans on attending ANC Burdette and pursuing a degree in welding.
Jeff, a junior at MHS, has been taking ag classes for two years. He is the son of Glen and June Pennington. He won second place in state in the plate cutting division. This is his first year to take the Burdette classes. He won at the local level and advanced to the state competition. Plate cutting consists of reading the blue prints, drawing from the prints onto the metal and cutting the metal with a torch.
The state level competition was high school and college level participants from throughout the state.
In addition to pipe welding, the boys are training in arch welding, mig welding, tig welding, blue print reading and other skills to help them in their future careers.
Jeff has another year of high school but said he is interested in looking at possibly attending the Arkansas Career Training Institute after graduation.