Two and a half days of competition culminated in victories for the Canadian competitors at the 11th Annual International Phoenix Challenge Flexo Skills Competition, when the team of Hannah Plavnick and Jyoti Brar of Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, ON, Canada, won first place.
The pair of high school students each received a $1,000 scholarship and the Phoenix Challenge Gold medallion. They were also presented with the Harper Flexo Cup to display at their school. It is the third time in four years that Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School has the honor of displaying the cup, signifying the home of the current Phoenix Challenge champions.
In addition, Gordon Graydon students Ian Zakovorotny and Daxal Desai placed second in the overall flexo competition and each received the $500 Graymills Corporation Second Place Scholarship.
Gordon Graydon’s flexography instructor, Peter Belanger, said, “These students gave it their all, determined in their pursuit of the top honors in the competition. This year’s awards show that their resolve, skills and hard work have all been worth it. They were competing with North America’s top high school flexographers. I am really proud of them.”
Bettylyn Krafft, chairman of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, commented, “My sincerest congratulations to all the Gordon Graydon students and to their persistent instructor, Peter Belanger, for their amazing work this year. Their enthusiasm, combined with determination, paid off wonderfully. They can be proud to be at top of some very, very tough competition. The point spread in the top six schools was only 39 points. It could have gone any way this year.”
She added, “We are celebrating our 11th anniversary in 2008, and indeed this has been a wonderful year for the International Phoenix Challenge Flexo Competition. We had a record number of 24 eager and highly trained student teams competing, and we are looking forward to 2009, projecting participation by more than 60 students! What these kids achieve here each year is amazing!”
Utilizing two Mark Andy and two Comco flexographic presses at the Harper National Flexographic Center at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, USA, 48 participants competed this year in the flexo industry’s only international training competition. The competition took place at the Harper National Flexographic Center at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, April 2-4.
Founded in 1998, the Phoenix Challenge Foundation is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization of industry professionals dedicated to the recruitment and development of the future workforce for flexography To date, $27,000 in scholarships have been awarded to encourage students to pursue further education and a career in flexography.