Sandburg’s Gerard wins bronze for masonry at SkillsUSA Championships

GALESBURG — Sandburg student Gavin Gerard won the bronze medal in masonry at the SkillsUSA Championships last week in Atlanta, becoming the college’s first medalist at a SkillsUSA national competition.

Gerard, from Oneida, qualified for nationals after winning gold at the SkillsUSA Illinois Championships in April in Peoria. He was one of five state champions from Sandburg who advanced to compete at nationals.

This marked the second consecutive year Gerard competed at the national level. He qualified in the job interview category in 2023 and did so again this year in addition to competing in masonry.

In the masonry competition, students completed a written exam and had six hours to construct a composite brick-and-block project that tested their ability to meet industry standards in quality. The project included components of the most frequently used details in residential construction.

Other Sandburg students who competed at the national competition were Faith Kiprop (technical computer applications), Brian Kipchemis (medical math), Ascar Jepchirchir (medical terminology) and Sullivan Ross (welding sculpture).

More than 6,000 students took part in the SkillsUSA Championships, which featured competitions in 115 trade, technical and leadership fields. SkillsUSA serves students at the college, high school and middle school level who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled-service occupations and for further education.

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Sandburg’s Gavin Gerard displays the bronze medal he won for masonry at the SkillsUSA Championships last week in Atlanta. 

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Sandburg’s Gavin Gerard works on his masonry project during the SkillsUSA Championships last week in Atlanta. Gerard won bronze in the category, becoming the first Sandburg student to medal at a SkillsUSA national competition.

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Representing Sandburg at last week’s SkillsUSA Championship in Atlanta were (l-r): Brian Kipchemis (medical math), Faith Kiprop (technical computer applications), welding instructor Ian Milligan, Sullivan Ross (welding sculpture), Gavin Gerard (masonry and job interview), Ascar Jepchirchir (medical terminology) and Kang Hee Hong, director of workforce and community education.