Port Colborne Leader, By Steve Henschel
PORT COLBORNE -- There’s some seriously skilled students coming out of Port High.
Eli Schonewille has spent years honing his industrial skills in the Specialist High Skills Major Program offered at PCHS. That dedication is clearly paying off as Schonewille, a Grade 11 Port High student, picked up gold a medal in welding at the Skills Canada provincial competition last week. That means, come the first week of June he will head to Toronto for national level competitions.
Schonewille also competed at provincials last year but didn’t advance to nationals. He does however join a bit of a tradition as he is the third consecutive Port High student to head to nationals for welding.
“We’re very proud of him, and he’s only in Grade 11,” said teacher Vic Barker.
“Two years of hard work has paid off, now we just have to keep going,” said Schonewille, who spends class time every day in the welding shop on top of regular after school practice.
“I come after school one to three times a week,” he said, adding, “I enjoy it and I want to win.”
At provincials he had to demonstrate a series of mig and arc welds, a test he will have to repeat at the national level.
Schonewille first signed up for the welding program after a Grade 9 tech unit on welding.
“I just found it interesting,” he said.
“I like building things, taking nothing and making it something.”