2019 May 22: Rockdale Welding program part of successful Texas High School Welding Series

Rockdale ISD has had a another great year in a number of various programs and departments. This being the last column for the 2018-19 school year, Mrs. Britina Pesak RISD Career and Technology Education (CTE), has the opportunity to share the successes of yet another program Rockdale High School Students have been a part in its first year.

This year, the Texas High School Welding Series (THSWS) was initiated to raise awareness of career and technical education and honor the excellence of schools’ programs and individual students. Students from high schools across multiple school districts competed in welding skills for trophies and prizes. In addition, through the competition students earned certifications based off of American Welding Society (AWS) Standards. Seven competitions were held at locations from Rockdale to Houston throughout the school year. The contests started at a baseline, but were divided into three levels, and increased in difficultly throughout the year as students practiced their skills in the classroom and welding laboratory. The competitions covered cutting, welding in three different positions and non-destructive testing, and a written examination that covered safety, welding theory and understanding, and tool identification.

Schools involved in the planning of the series included Rockdale, Columbus, Cypress Ridge, Klein Forest, Brenham, Giddings, Jersey Village, and Morton Ranch. Over 400 individual students participated in THSWS competitions with over 60 earning AWS certifications. On Thursday, May 16, the Awards Ceremony for the Series was held at Cypress Ridge High School where the Top 10 Students in each event were awarded plaques and belt buckles for their accomplishments. Rockdale High School students were very successful in this inaugural year, with Junior Cody Vance earning 2nd place in the Cutting Contest as well as his AWS certification, Andrew Mulac earning 10th in the Quiz and Tool Identification contest, Joseph Nieto earning 5th place in Level 1, Dalton Hubnik earning 7th in the Cutting Contest and his AWS certification.

The series was the brainchild of high school welding instructors and members of industry who realized that building relationships between students interested in welding careers and employers is important to bridging the skills gap. Individual welding contests have been hosted in the area for several years, but coming together to work as a team has more benefits for both students and employers. The series could not happen without the support of industry sponsors. Locally, the series is supported and sponsored by Perry and Perry Builders, Rockdale Welding Supply, and Servicing Welders Across Texas (S.W.A.T). The entire list of sponsors, which is growing every day, as well as results and photos from each contest, can be found at www.thsws.org.

Please contact Britina Pesak, Director of CTE (Career and Technical Education) at bpesak@rockdaleisd.net or 512-430-6140, ext. 1021 if you would like to find out more about the Texas High School Welding Series or any of the CTE programs available at Rockdale ISD!