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OTC Dual Enrollment Students Are “Top Gun” Welders


Justin Harris, Dusty Rowland, and Brent Strickland, dual enrollment students at Okefenokee Technical College, along with Mitch Sinclair (not shown), placed first in the FFA Area VI Welding CDE “Weld Off,” held recently in the welding lab at Okefenokee Tech.

As a team, the four young men scored 368 out of 400, and earned first place among 17 teams. Rowland placed first in SMAW; Harris placed first in GMAW; Strickland placed second in Brazing; and Sinclair placed seventh in Cutting.

The team then advanced to the 2007 South Region “Top Gun” Welding CDE Welderscompetition in Tifton, Georgia, where they competed against 13 other high schools. Rowland took first place, with an overall score in all four events of 313. Harris placed fourth overall, and first in the Brazing competition, scoring a commendable 92 out of 100.

Rowland will receive a $250 scholarship to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC), provided by Bobby and Judy Perry of Tifton. He will also be recognized as the “Top Gun” welder at the Area VI Banquet. Rowland now advances to the state competition.

Dual enrollment students can earn their wire welding certificate of credit while they are still in high school. Upon graduation, they can advance their skills by enrolling in OTC’s exceptional welding diploma program, lead by program director Doug Furman (Waycross Campus).

Congratulations to these talented young men, to Mike Kirkland, the OTC Wire Welding instructor at PCHS, and to Scotty Hattaway, PCHS Agriculture instructor and FFA Advisor.

Photo: Mike Kirkland (left), OTC Welding Instructor, and Scotty Hattaway, Pierce FFA Advisor (not shown), could not be more proud of their FFA welding students. Shown here are PCHS dual enrollment students (R to L) Justin Harris, Dusty Rowland, and Brent Strickland, “top guns” in recent welding competitions.


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