After two and a half days of multi-functional competition at the 2010 International Phoenix Challenge High School Flexo Competition, first-place was awarded along with $1,000 scholarships each to Stephanie Hammond and Lianne Chang of Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga, ON, Canada. The duo were declared the winners of the thirteenth annual international competition which took place at the Harper National Flexographic Center at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, USA, in late March.
The pair won the first place award by earning this year's highest combined scores in the contest's five exams: written knowledge, math, prepress proficiency, press operation and platemaking. In addition to the two Phoenix Challenge Foundation Scholarships, the winning team took home the 2010 Harper Flexo High School of the Year trophy cup, for display at its school. Stephanie Hammond is a second year champion, having clinched first place with a different teammate in the 2009 competition.
Top performing students excelled in all aspects of the competition. Second place went to Grant Izukawa and Chong Wang, also from Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School. Third place want to James Jackson and Marcus Davis from Fairfield Career & Technology Center in Winnsboro, SC, USA.
The competition was stiff among the nineteen participating teams, a number which has grown year over year since the Phoenix Challenge high school program began back in 1998.
Bettylyn Krafft, the competition's chairperson, said, "The rivalry gets more challenging every year as the best high school students train and prepare tenaciously for this flexographic competition, with all eyes on the top awards." The scholarships are awarded to the top placing students, fulfilling the mission of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation.
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. Each year flexo students and teachers from throughout the US and Canada are invited to the Phoenix Challenge Competitions. The High School event is a two and half-day skill-based competition with hands-on and comprehension testing in operating a flexo press, prepress, plate-making, and overall flexo knowledge. Winners are eligible for scholarships funded by the Phoenix Challenge Foundation.