Welding students advance to nationals

Published 10:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2023

Three students from Oxford-Lafayette Applied Technology School won at the SkillsUSA state competition in Jackson on Thursday, March 9, to advance to nationals. 

Students Tyler Coleman, Hunter Smith, and Ham Brooks won first place in the welding fabrication category and will take their skills to Atlanta on June 19-23 with hopes to win a national title.

Welding teacher Olton Kent has spent his first year of teaching trying to implement hands-on techniques and youthful enthusiasm for the skill in order to provide his students with the proper attitudes to take with them to the next level. 

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The students work on hands-on projects throughout the school year, as Kent encourages people to send over real objects for the students to learn with. Kent and his students have been spending quite a bit of time fixing a trailer in their shop on campus. 

The students will also compete at the district level later this week in hopes of earning yet another award, to advance to the state level for the Future Farmers Association (FFA) competition.