MCEF Names December Students of the Month

Recognition celebrates top-performing career and technical education students

PEARL ― The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation is recognizing four career and technical education standouts as its students of the month for December.

Selected from MCEF’s four districts are Andrew Houston of Amory Career and Technical Center, Jose Lemus of West Point Career and Technology Center, Tiler Loper of Jones County Career and Technical Center, and Meagan Whiddon of Greene County Vocational Technical Center. 

Winners are chosen based on grades, attendance, discipline in class, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities, and post-graduation plans. All will compete for student of the year honors at the foundation’s annual awards program next May.

“We congratulate our student of the month winners for being such excellent representatives of high school career tech programs in Mississippi,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president.  “We’re proud of each of them for helping ensure our state has a highly skilled workforce to support the state’s growing construction and manufacturing industries.”

Houston is a member of Skills USA welding team that is preparing to compete for the 2018 state championship. He is NCCER certified with career planning and assessment scores that place him among the top 3 metal fabrication students in Mississippi. After graduation, he plans to attend Itawamba Community College and study welding.

Demonstrating a remarkable passion for knowledge through his hands-on learning style, Lemus is preparing for the Skills USA individual welding competition with sights set on winning the 2018 state championship. After graduation, he plans to attend East Mississippi Community College and study welding.

Loper touts a 3.5 grade point average and a near-perfect attendance record at West Jones High School. His honors include the CTE service award and honor roll, High Five Award, Level One National Center for Construction and Education Research Certification, and the Agriscience Academic Award. He plans to study career and technical education at Jones County Junior College.

Touting a perfect grade point average, Whiddon stands out as one of the state’s top career and technical education students. She is a member of the 2016 state champion FFA welding team, president of her local SkillsUSA chapter, a Mississippi Tech Master Scholar, and an inductee in the 2017-2018 Greene County High School Hall of Fame. After graduation, she will study electrical engineering at Mississippi State University.

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

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