Student in running for Presidential Scholar

PIQUA — On June 22, President Obama signed an executive order expanding the United States Presidential Scholars program to establish a new category of outstanding scholars in career and technical education (CTE). Just four months later, Dale Garber of Greenville, an HVAC/R student and apprentice at Upper Valley Career Center, was notified that he is one of five Ohio finalists in the running for the CTE recognition.

This past spring, Garber won first place in the Ohio SkillsUSA sheet metal competition and finished ninth in the National event. He was nominated for the Presidential Scholar program by Upper Valley Career Center Executive Director Jason Haak, Apprenticeship Coordinator Tony Trapp, and HVAC instructor Scott Naill.

Naill, a past ACTE National Teacher of the Year, credits Garber’s work ethic for his success. “Dale excels in all aspects,” Naill said. “He is talented and has an outstanding work ethic which translates into outstanding accomplishments as a student, through SkillsUSA, the Apprenticeship program and working for Wat-Kem Mechanical, Troy, as a pre-apprentice installer.”

Naill shared that while at the Career Center Garber has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn, earning more industry credentials than many with long-term employment. “Dale is a fine young man — very deserving of this honor. He has a great future.”

Besides his work for Wat-Kem Mechanical, Garber works part-time for King and Sons Poultry in Bradford, remains active in SkillsUSA, and participates in volunteer community service all while keeping academics a priority. He was recently inducted into the National Technical Honor Society through Upper Valley and is set to graduate from Greenville High School this coming spring with a 4.0-plus grade point average.

Garber hopes his nomination ends with a trip to Washington D.C., but knows that being in the running for the inaugural CTE Presidential Scholars honor is remarkable. “Before I came to the Career Center, I was working to make good grades with graduation as the goal,” Garber says. “Now I have a whole future ahead of me.”

After graduation Garber plans to continue his education and working with Wat-Kem Mechanical to complete the ABC, Ohio Valley Chapter, four-year apprenticeship in pursuit of a Journeyman license.