Gonzalez named state’s top high school carpenter

Gonzalez named states top high school carpenter

GETTING TO WORK CPAA: Senior Carlos Gonzalez constructs a doghouse at a state carpentry competition on April 14.

Fremont Federation of High Schools has the top student carpenter in California.

Carlos Gonzalez, a senior from College Preparatory & Architecture Academy, won the State Skills USA Carpentry competition in San Diego over spring break. He competed against 20 other students, each of whom had won a regional competition in order to qualify for the state competition.

The competition took place April 13 and 14. The awards ceremony took place on April 15.

Gonzalez won his entry to the state Skills USA Carpentry competition by winning a gold medal in the Salinas regional competition that took place in February.

“Ever since I was small, I liked messing with tools, and I just liked carpentry when I first tried it,” said Gonzalez.

The task for Gonzalez and the other students in the competition was to construct a complicated dog house within a limit of eight hours.

“I can’t tell you how impressive Carlos was,” said CPAA carpentry teacher Josh Nardie. “He applied complicated math and problem-solving skills in a way that made his construction talent seem like an afterthought. All of the other competitors and advisers noticed that ‘that kid from Oakland’ was really good.”

Nardie, who taught construction for seven years at a school in St. Louis, Mo. before coming to CPAA this fall, said he has been taking students to the Skills USA competition for eight years.

“I’ve never had anybody win better than ninth at the state level,” said Nardie.
Gonzalez took Nardie’s class for the whole year, but only had two weeks to practice for the state competition.

“I was really happy knowing that Nardie had helped me,” Gonzalez said. “I felt really appreciated.”

Before the ceremony, Gonzalez and Nardie predicted that Gonzalez would make it into the top five and were hoping for a bronze medal.

“I didn’t think I was going to win, so I was really surprised when I won,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez not only won the state competition, he also received prizes. He received a $100 set of Dewalt tools and a titanium hammer from Economy Lumber.

When asked who was his inspiration, Gonzalez said, “Nardie, because since the first competition, he knew that I would do a good job.”

Gozalez said he is hoping to work in the field of carpentry in the future.