The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:52 am

6 local students to test skills at contest

Jamie Duffy | The Journal Gazette

Six students at the Fort Wayne Community Schools Career Academy at Anthis will compete at the end of this month in the SkillsUSA Championships.

A national contest held for nearly 50 years, students pit their talents against one another to win scholarships and other perks, including tools, said Bob Roebuck, Anthis assistant principal.

To qualify for national competitions, students had to win first place in the state competition held this year in April after placing in the top five in the regional competition, which was held in Fort Wayne in January.

Trevor Gilpin, a senior from Homestead High School, earned first place in state in cabinetmaking, after being handed a table saw, a miter saw, a router and a chunk of wood at the competition. Under pressure, he created a little cabinet, 15 inches wide and 15 inches deep and about 20 inches tall. He intends to study building and construction management at Ivy Tech in the fall.

Tyler Hack, a senior at Snider High School and the state winner in the masonry competition, has already put in his application with the masons’ union here.

Cyrus Groves, a senior who is home-schooled, took home first place in T-shirt design following the parameters laid out to create an 8-by-8-inch design resembling the shape of Indiana. He hasn’t decided between IPFW and Ivy Tech, he said.

Ross Vardaman, a senior from Leo High School, and Ivan Nycum, a junior from North Side High School, won in TV production. Nycum credits Northwood Middle School teacher Todd Roberts with getting him started in realizing his dream to work in the field. "I’ve been doing television since the seventh grade," Nycum said. Vardaman will go to Ivy Tech and then Ball State University.

Alex Guldbeck, of South Side, will represent the state in the parade of states at the nationals, chosen because this is his third year to compete in pin design at that level, said Karen Gillie, Anthis graphic design instructor.

Last year, Guldbeck was chosen ninth in the nation. His pin this year representing the state has moving gears, said Guldbeck, who will attend University of Saint Francis to study graphic design.

Students "are strongly encouraged by us to participate," said Roebuck who is seeing greater support for Anthis from local businesses.

"Business and industry knows this is what keeps America going," Roebuck said.

South Adams High School

Bodin Sikes, a freshman at South Adams High School of Berne, has been nominated to attend the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston this month. The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students. Based on his academic achievement and leadership potential. Sikes was nominated by former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, science director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. For more information visit or call 617-307-7425.

Scholarship winners

Nathaniel Roe of Angola High School and Zane Csuhta of Bishop Luers High School will receive a $1,500 2015 Jim Kelley Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship winners were announced by the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority and the Greater Fort Wayne Aviation Museum. The scholarship was created in 2006 in memory of Jim Kelley, a local entrepreneur and proponent of aviation in Northeast Indiana. The scholarship is open to high school seniors planning to pursue an aviation-related degree at an accredited college or university or those enrolled in the Airframe & Powerplant Certification program at Ivy Tech Community College, at Smith Field Airport.


IPFW honored long-time community and campus leaders Linda Ruffolo (posthumously) and Irene Walters as IPFW Champions in a private ceremony at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center in late May. Three of Linda’s former co-workers, Colleen Dixon, Tracey Peterson and Paula Rice, accepted the award for Ruffolo, who died in March. Ruffolo was IPFW’s director of development and involved in many campus projects, including the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse IPFW Alumni Center, the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center, and the Ron Venderly Family Bridge. Ruffolo created the "50 for 50" fundraiser that brought in more than $2.5 million in endowments, including $2.3 million in scholarship funds. Irene Walters is executive director of university relations. Under her leadership, the university launched two public art projects – Mastodons on Parade and Sculpture with Purpose. She also partnered with Science Central to create the Lunch with an IPFW Scientist program. In the community, Irene helped create the Kids Crossing playground, was a co-founder of Francine’s Friends, and the president of Women United.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne IN 46802-0088; fax 461-8893 or email two weeks before the desired publication date.

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