Local student wins state carpentry contest
Dalton Walker, of Hillsboro, recently represented Pocahontas County High School in the SkillsUSA West Virginia State Leadership and Skills Conference in Martinsburg. Walker won a gold medal for placing first in the carpentry competition.
Duane Gibson has been the general building construction teacher at PCHS for 15 years now. Walker, now a senior, has been a student in Gibson's class since his freshman year.
"He's been a good student all along," said Gibson. "Very talented. He's the type of student that once you showed him something, he had it. Really quick learner. He represented the carpentry class, or the construction class in the carpentry competition, and ultimately took first place. He'll be going on to Kansas City the latter part of June for the national competition."
Participants are given a set of blue prints and material and then timed on their progress. According to Walker, his project was "a kind of platform to walk up on." Even with a minor setback with event coordinators, Walker was 30-45 minutes ahead of everyone else throughout the competition.
"I wasted about ten minutes trying to get more lumber," explained Walker. "They didn't give me enough lumber to finish. They thought I'd cut something wrong and I didn't. I argued with them for a while and finally got all the material I needed to finish. The closest person to me was about thirty minutes behind. I was smokin' 'em pretty hard."
Walker has been working in carpentry for seven or eight years now, but this was his first time in the competition. He said he's very excited about heading to Kansas City and he attributes his success to his dad, Joe Walker; Mr. Gibson, and his uncle, Jamie Walker, whom he's done carpentry work with in the summers and on weekends. Walker said he has already been receiving job offers from companies that heard about his gold medal.