GISS ranked third in the South Island Regional Skills Canada Competition on Friday March 28th.

Drew Light won BRONZE in Carpentry
Finn McGuffin won SILVER in Carpentry
(The competition involved the students building a prototype—with no instructions—in a short period of time. It was a timed trial, competing against students from Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and Cowichan school districts.)

Samantha Jensson won GOLD in Culinary and will be going on to the Provincial Championships next week.
The culinary competition was a black box event—again no instructions—just ingredients.

All three students are Secondary School Apprentices and ACE-IT students in their respective trades.

*see the full press release below this image:
Greenhouse Plans

GISS brings home medals from Regional Skills Canada Competition 
Skilled Trades Programs at GISS Building Winners!

By Shari Hambrook

Camosun College Interurban Campus hosted the 2014 Regional Skills Canada Competition for the South Vancouver Island Region on Friday March 28th. GISS entered four Youth Apprentices in the competitions and came home with 3 medals and won Bronze overall for the South Island Region Secondary Schools.

Student medalists are: Samantha Jensson, Gold Medal Culinary Arts; Finn McGuffin, Silver Medal, Carpentry and Drew Light, Bronze Medal, Carpentry. A fourth student, Shyla-Rae Lloyd-Walters, competed in the highly competitive Hairdressing Competition after completing 12 months of training at the student training salon in Saanich. Shyla-Rae will graduate from GISS in June with a Certificate of Qualification as a hairstylist.

Samantha Jensson, grade 12 Culinary Arts student currently apprenticing at Harbour House Restaurant, will go on to compete in the Provincial Skills Canada Competition in Abbotsford on April 9th. Samantha started cooking with Shinobu Murata at the Raven Street Café, than was hired under Chef Brooke Winters at Harbour House only one year ago. The Secondary School Apprenticeship Program at GISS allows students to complete their level one trades training at Camosun or VIU as part of their grade 12 year. Samantha finished 6 weeks in the Camosun Culinary Arts program and wrote her final exam the day before the competition.
“After all the training I did with Brooke, and finishing my 6 week course at Camosun, I felt so relaxed in the competition, I even caught myself humming while I was cooking and had to remind myself that I was in a competition. I am so excited about winning, I can’t really believe it, “ commented Samantha Friday night.

She will spend the next 10 days training under Chef Brooke Winters, herself a Skills Canada Gold Medalist, and under Chef Gilbert Noussitou, chair of Camosun College Culinary Arts Program, in preparation for the April 9th Provincial Competition. Gold Medalists at Provincials will go onto compete at the National Skills Canada event in Toronto vying for seats on Team Canada at the 2015 World Skills Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Silver Medalist, Finn McGuffin, is a carpentry apprentice with James McGuffin Construction on Salt Spring and Bronze Medalist, Drew Light, apprentices with Eric Pohl of Island Legacy Construction on Pender Island. Both students have been studying their level one Carpentry in the GISS ACE-It Program with Camosun College instructor Neil Kerrigan. Neil teaches the college course to adults and secondary students on Thursday nights and Fridays at GISS throughout the school year, a model that allows the secondary school students to finish their grade 12 year and complete the Dual Credit program, graduating with their level one trades training complete. And already our graduates have medals to show for their skills.

There will be 16 Secondary School Apprentices graduating from GISS this June, a record number for our small school district; 16 students who already have a head start on their post-secondary education while they learn a trade on the job. The provincial government & ministry of education are working together to support programs such as the ACE-It Trades Training and Secondary School Apprenticeship. GISS has offered the programming since 2005 and has increased the number of youth apprentices in the trades from about 5 to 20 in the last 5 years. For more information about student apprenticeship, contact Shari Hambrook, Secondary School Apprenticeship Teacher at GISS, shambrook@sd64.bc.ca.