Six students from Ozarks Technical Community College’s Turf and Landscape Management program have brought home several awards and a scholarship from their field’s national competition. The students competed against 59 other colleges and universities at the 35th annual Student Career Days, informally known as the “Landscaping Olympics,” an event sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).
Students who placed in this year’s competition included:
- Michelle Jernigan, Nixa — 2nd in Leadership Skills, 21st overall individual
- Jake Margiotta, Willard — 7th in Tractor/Loader/Backhoe Operation, 12th in Small Engine Repair
- Kyle Kinney, Macks Creek — 16th overall individual
- Mike Cannon, Lebanon — 44th overall individual
Kinney, Jernigan and Cannon’s overall placements put them in the top 5 percent of all students competing in these events.
Jernigan was also honored with a $1,000 scholarship through the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation. Her scholarship, the Akerman Family Scholarship, was created in 2002 to assist students seeking a career in landscape contracting, who are leaders, and who have a passion for sales and marketing in the green industry. Jernigan is the first student from OTC to receive a scholarship through the national organization.
The four-day event also included student workshops and a career fair centered on opportunities in the landscaping industry. Others attending the competition included students Lisa Matherly of Springfield and Terri Howard of Mount Vernon, along with OTC instructor Rob Flatness.
OTC was the only competing school from the state of Missouri at this year’s event, which was held in Joliette, Ill. Other colleges and universities participating in the 2011 Student Career Days included Auburn University, Brigham Young University, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Clemson University, Colorado State University, Columbus State Community College, Illinois State University, Joliet Junior College, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, North Georgia Technical College, Oklahoma State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, Spokane Community College, University of Maryland and Virginia Tech.
College Director of Communication
Coordinator of Public Information