From left Alyson Benson, Greg Boutestein and Samantha Ringuette.
by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville Community High School sent two competitors to this year’s Skills Alberta competition held May 14 and 15 in Edmonton. The annual competition pits the province’s best students in a number of trades and skills against one another in a two-day competition. Alyson Benson is competing for the third time in the Graphic Design category and Samantha Ringuette will represent the school in Photography for the second time. Both students are hoping for a win in their respective SKILLS division, a victory that would send them on to national competition in Toronto June 4 to 7.
Samantha Rinquette said she found her first year competing in SKILLS to be a little overwhelming because she didn’t know what to expect of the competition. The Grade 11 student said she learned from her year one experience and has come to the competition better prepared for the two-day event. “I’ve practiced more, got a new camera, and worked harder on the preparation stage,” Ringuette said. “I know what to expect now.”
Rinquette’s task during the competition is to photograph 10 images, nine in colour, one in black and white – photos that capture the nine essential skills of learning.
Though passionate about photography, the student says she is looking at it as more of a hobby or secondary income on the road ahead. “It’s a stress reliever,” she said. “It’s what I do to get out. I kind of just see something. I think it’s pretty and I take the picture. I don’t care if it’s something on the side of the road or a flower.”
Her post secondary plans are to study kinesiology with a goal of going into occupational therapy.
Alyson Benson, a Grade 12 student at the school, is in her third year. Like Ringuette she found the first year a challenge, finishing towards the bottom. “I really didn’t know what I was going to be getting into,” she said, adding she was familiar with the software. “I didn’t fare to well the first year at all, but the second year I knew what was going to be expected of me.”
In her second year, Benson rose nine positions in the ranking and is hoping to do better this time around. Her task will be to create a logo for an unidentified company and two projects related to the design. “Lots of the designs that have won in the past are very simple but elegant,” she said of this year’s strategy.
Benson said her post secondary plans are to become a high school teacher, majoring in chemistry and minoring in graphic design.