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Six medals for Inuvik
Students and apprentice bring home four bronze, one silver from territorial skills competition

Samantha Stokell
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, April 28, 2011

INUVIK - Inuvik students and apprentices brought home five medals from the Territorial Skills Canada competition in Yellowknife last week.

 NNSL photo/graphic

Devon Burgess won a bronze medal in the post-secondary cooking category at the territorial Skills Canada competition in Yellowknife on April 19. Four other students from Inuvik won medals in the high school level: Denita Frost-Arey won a silver medal in hairstyling; Dakota Reidford, bronze, for hairstyling; Doug Sittichinli, bronze, for baking; and Davis Neyando won bronze in graphic design. - Samantha Stokell/NNSL photo

Four Samuel Hearne Secondary School students and a Dowland camp cook apprentice won four bronze and one silver medal at the territorial championships on April 19.

Students Davis Neyando won bronze in graphic design, Denita Frost-Arey won silver in hairstyling, Dakota Reidford took bronze for hairstyling and Doug Sittichinli won bronze for baking.

Devon Burgess, an apprentice at the Eskimo Inn, won bronze in cooking, despite having only a few days notice of the competition.

"I got the recipes e-mailed the day before so I showed up with them and had to do the scales in my head," Burgess said. "I was at a definite disadvantage which makes it so wild that I finished with the outcome I did. I pushed through and finished in third."

Burgess currently works as an apprentice and will soon attend the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to complete his red seal certification in cooking. Although he already has a job cooking for the workers building the superschool, he received job leads during the competition from a few diamond mines.

"Even though I work here, (they) told me to give them a call," Burgess said. "It's nice to have a plan. Eventually, though, I'd like to go back home to Kamloops, B.C., and open a fine dining restaurant."

Randy Paulson, a Samuel Hearne career and technology teacher, agrees the competition is terrific exposure for the students' careers.

"The North is an expanding territory and needs to be serviced by tradespeople," Paulson said. "The competition highlighted the importance of education and earning a living."

While the competition confirmed Burgess' desire to continue cooking, for Denita Frost-Arey it did the opposite. Despite winning silver in hairstyling, she's decided not to pursue it as a career.

"It's really hard and you never know if you please the customer," Frost-Arey said. "I've always been artistic and creative, but I don't want to do that. I want to do something with outdoor recreation."

Winners from the territorial championship had a chance to attend the national championships in Quebec City in June.

"It showed trades is a popular and viable option as a career," said Ariana Hauck, a volunteer with the school who attended the competition. "It's not as much a glorious option right now as high academics, but it highlighted that skills are needed."

Chelsea Lennie, Brittany Lucas-Cockney, Scott Ross Kuptana, and Logan Ruben also participated in the competition.

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