MCEF Recognizes Students of the Year at Annual Celebration

[Student of the Year winners share a moment of celebration during the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation’s annual awards day. Featured from left, are northern district student of the year Andrew Benefield, a construction carpentry student at Tippah Career and Technology Center; north central winner Drew Fulcher, a welding student from Winston-Louisville Career and Technology Center; south central district winner Casey Yelverton, a welding student at Jones County Career and Technical Education Center; and southern district student of the year Tyler Terwilliger, a welding student at Hancock County Career and Technical Center.]

Award honors Mississippi’s top-performing career and technical education students

PEARL ― Four of Mississippi’s top-performing career and technical education students received student of the year awards from the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation during the organization’s annual celebration on May 5. The award recognizes winners from MCEF’s four districts and includes a $500 cash prize.

Recipients include northern district winner Andrew Benefield, a construction carpentry student at Tippah Career and Technology Center; north central winner Drew Fulcher, a welding student at Winston-Louisville Career and Technology Center; south central winner Casey Yelverton, a welding student at Jones County Career and Technical Center; and southern winner Tyler Terwilliger, a welding student at Hancock County Career and Technical Center.

“We congratulate Andrew, Drew, Casey and Tyler for earning student of the year awards and for being excellent representatives of high school career tech programs in Mississippi,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. “We’re proud of all of our students of the year and students of the month for helping ensure that Mississippi has a highly skilled workforce to support the state’s growing construction and manufacturing industries.”

Student of the year winners were selected from a field of 28 students of the month for 2016-17. All finalists were honored during an awards luncheon along with winners of the MCEF and Mississippi State Board of Contractors scholarship program and the MCEF State Craft Competition.

Instructor nominations for student of the month are based on grades, attendance, class discipline, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities and post-graduation plans. A committee selects monthly and yearly award recipients.

As a standout in the classroom, Benefield owns a perfect grade point average and attendance record. He plans to attend Northeast Community College and Mississippi State University in pursuit of a degree in civil engineering.

Fulcher is a three-year member of SkillsUSA. His wins as the state’s best in 2015 and 2016 earned him back-to-back trips to the national competition, where he finished in the top 10 both years.

Boasting an impressive grade point average and a near-perfect attendance record, Yelverton is a member of Skills USA and stands as the top welder in his class. He also owns multiple academic honors, including top awards in physical science and world history.

Terwilliger was named student of the year for MCEF’s southern district. Known for his impressive work ethic, he owns some of his school’s top career planning and assessment scores and is a member of SkillsUSA, in which he has competed in welding fabrication and welding sculpture at the district and state levels, respectively.

MCEF is a non-profit educational foundation that provides NCCER craft training and credentialing in more than 100 career and technical programs across the state. The foundation’s mission is to train individuals for the construction and manufacturing industries in Mississippi.

MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades. Learn more about MCEF at http://mcef.net.

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