Ponoka students head to Skills Canada provincials

Students from both Ponoka Secondary Campus and St. Augustine Catholic School have found some success at a Skills Canada regional challenge.

Mckenna Christensen

Mckenna Christensen

Students from both Ponoka Secondary Campus and St. Augustine Catholic School have found some success at a Skills Canada regional challenge.

The competition was held Friday, April 17 at Hunting Hills High School in Red Deer with two Ponoka students receiving gold medals for their efforts and one receiving silver.

Nic Seymour, Grade 11 student at Ponoka Secondary Campus, won a gold medal in cabinet making. He had to make sure the cabinet would pass judges’ critical eyes.

He placed important focus on his joinery skills and overall craftsmanship of his cabinet this year, which resulted in high points. “They (judges) do a lot of marking on your sanding and the way it’s put together,” he explained.

He had to build a cabinet to a specific size in six hours. For provincials Seymour will have to complete a task that is set at two six-hour trials. Seymour placed fifth in provincials last year and he feels the experience will help him do better this year.

In baking, PSC student Mckenna Christensen, Grade 10, earned a gold medal. She has been practicing since February on the challenge. Her biggest concern: “The time and getting to know the new kitchen.”

She had help from her grandfather who is a former baker, Bill Goodbun, who used to own Goodbuns Bakery in Ponoka.

“He gave me a lot of techniques and stuff that they used back then,” said Christensen.

One thing that helped in the baking process is Christensen did not use a proofer, which helps the dough rise faster, explained food studies teacher Sherry Christiansen.

“She had done hers grandpa’s way and it proved well for her,” said Christiansen.

The Grade 10 student practiced so much that she knew her bread was ready by the time she was done baking it.

Teacher Christiansen said there was positive collaboration with St. Augustine home economics teacher Dayna Wittal, who also had a student, Brenna McCaughey placed second in the baking challenge.

Christiansen says students at both schools have created a bond together and the competition has become a positive team environment.

Provincials is set for Wednesday, May 13 and 14 at the Edmonton EXPO Centre. The top two placed competitors are heading to provincials.