Announcing the Winners of “A Cut Above” Student Contest

We’re proud to announce the six winners of the Victor® 2014 “A Cut Above” contest for students in welding and cutting programs at secondary and post-secondary schools.

Individual winners won a $250 cash prize for their winning essay on the theme of “A Cut Above,” describing how cutting and welding have influenced their lives. Members of three teams each won a $500 cash prize for their winning cutting project. All schools associated with the winners also won a cutting, welding and gas control package valued at $4,000. Products in the package included a Victor Journeyman Welding & Cutting Outfit, a Victor® Thermal Dynamics® CUTMASTER 42 Air Plasma Cutting Outfit, a Fabricator® 211i 3-in-1 Stick-MIG-TIG Welding Machine Kit and two Tweco® 4-sensor auto-darkening welding helmets.

The 2014 individual winners were Eric Lehman, Springfield Clark Career Technology Center, Springfield, Ohio (instructor Brian Massie); Ashli Bailey, Jefferson College Area Technical School, Hillsboro, Mo. (instructors Rob Rodden and Sheba Nitsch); and Jose Capiglioni, South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, Wash. (instructor Sarah Patterson). The 2014 team winners were Lauren Quinn and Chris Gannon, Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough, Mass. (instructor Chris Wittmier); Larry Peoples and Matt Parrott, Santa Fe College, Gainsville, Fla. (instructor Joseph T. Mahoney); and Garrett Williams, Preston Simpson, Lane Stewart, Turner Osbun and Colby Wenger, LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex, Denton, Texas (instructor Rebecca Hendricks).

Setting Higher Goals

Instructor Sarah Patterson from South Puget Sound Community College says that winning a competition of this nature greatly boosts welding students’ self-esteem.

“Far too many welding students do not view themselves as academically gifted,” she says. “Somewhere along their educational path, they have been convinced that they are better ‘doers’ than ‘thinkers.’ This contest helps to dispel that myth, not only to the winning student but to his/her classmates, instructors and administration as well. Everyone knows that Victor is the gold standard for cutting equipment, but this contest also shows that Victor is setting the standard for encouraging future welders to expand their way of thinking and set higher goals for themselves.”

Patterson’s winning student, Jose Capiglioni, wrote that the struggles in his life were like an oxy-fuel torch going out. After being laid off from two government contracts within a year and having a family to support, Capiglioni says, “I simply relit my ‘torch’ by making one very important decision, and that was to return to school to earn my [associates] degree” in Welding Technology. Today, this 34-year-old is thankful for “instructors who want their students to succeed and who are full of knowledge” and that he “hopes to pass on to both of my children what it takes to have character. There is always a solution to everything, and to remind [my children] that they are my neutral flame and my driving force to success.”

Bill Wehrman, Global Marketing Communications Manager, says that, “ESAB salutes Jose and all the contest winners for their ability, innovation and initiative to go ‘a cut above’ the average student. We also salute Sarah and instructors everywhere who create a rich learning environment so students can prosper.”

ESAB plans to continue the A Cut Above student contest in 2015, with details to be announced in the coming months.

Jose Capiglioni

Jose Capiglioni, a student at South Puget Sound Community College, was one of three
essay winners in Victor's "A Cut Above" student contest.