Takes top prize in HVAC-R contest at SkillsUSA national championship
Brock Miesner isn't sure who was more excited when he won the gold medal at the 2012 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference -- him or his parents.
"I think my parents were more excited than I was," said Brock, who graduated in May from Perryville High School. He is the son of Clifford and Eileen Miesner of Frohna; they attended the conference with their son in Kansas City from June 25-27. He is the grandson of Edmund Miesner of Frohna and Leonard Kassel of Perryville.
While in high school, Brock completed the 2-year Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning-Refrigeration (HVAC-R) course taught by Jacob Blackwell at Perryville Area Career Technology Center. Brock's win is the first time a PACTC student has won the national title at the SkillsUSA conference, although students from the local career center have finished in second and third place.
Brock was an excellent student who excelled in the HVAC-R field, according to Steve King, director of the career center.
"Brock is the kind of kid that every instructor wants to have," King said. "He is serious and studious and works to improve his skills."
That was evident as Brock progressed through his program and headed to the national competition.
The SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference brought more than 15,000 people --including students, teachers and business partners -- to Kansas City last week.
The national championship contests were held June 26 in H. Roe Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium. Nearly 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students -- all state contest winners -- competed in 94 different hands-on trade, technical and leadership fields. Students worked against the clock and each other to prove their mastery of their field.
"Clifford and I watched as Brock competed in his 9 events," Eileen said. "It was awesome. I had never seen anything like it, and I really enjoyed watching Brock compete."
King said that Brock didn't look nervous as he completed his tasks.
"He was all business," King said. "The competition is set up so that the contestants must diagnose whatever problem that had been set up on a piece of equipment, and explain each step to his judge, who was an industry expert. Brock actually finished 4 of the 9 tasks with a perfect score."
All of the skills competitions were conducted in compliance with industry standards. The written test that Brock completed earned him a certification from AHRI (A/C, Heating and Refrigeration Institute).
The skill areas Brock earned a perfect score for include residential AC electrical troubleshooting, refrigeration system electrical troubleshooting, residential gas furnace troubleshooting and brazing safety. He earned high marks in brazing skills, mechanical service procedures, residential air measurement and system evaluation, written test and AC servicing procedures. Competitors were also evaluated for proper uniforms and resume preparation. Brock's overall score was 95.7 percent.
Brock said he really wasn't nervous during the hands-on evaluations.
"I didn't think I'd do that good, so I wasn't worried about it," he said. "I was kind of relaxed and having fun. When they announced that I'd won first place, I didn't believe it at first."
The high school silver medalist in HVAC-R was Ricky Curtis of Duncan, Okla. and John Ragas of Milton, Fla. won the bronze.
Brock's win earned him a number of prizes from contest sponsors, which will be "tools of the trade", scholarship offers, footwear and clothing, and gift cards. For instance, Milwaukee Electric awarded Brock with a power drill. Other supporters of the HVAC-R competition include Apex Tool Group, $750 merchandise from Carhartt, DeWalt Industrial Tool Co., Fluke Group, Genteq, $500 in merchandise Irwin Industrial Tool Co., JB Industries, Lowe's, Midwest Tool, Ranken Technical College, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, Ritchie Engineering, Timberland Pro footwear, Universal Electronics and University of Northwestern Ohio.
Brock plans to attend Linn Technical College in the fall to study industrial electricity with a major in programmable logic controllers.
"Mr. King and Jacob Blackwell, who was Brock's HVAC-R instructor at the career center, saw the potential in Brock and encouraged him to pursue his interest in this field," Eileen said. "He's gone further with this than any of us thought possible. We appreciate all they have done for Brock."