PEARL ― The Mississippi Construction Education Foundation is recognizing four career and technical education standouts as its students of the month for April.

Selected from are Walker Byrd of Greene County Vocational Technical Center, Bradly Cunningham of Lowndes County Career Technology Center and Jandon Taylor of South Panola Career and Technical Center.

Winners are chosen based on grades, attendance, discipline in class, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities, and post-graduation plans. All will compete for student of the year honors at the foundation’s annual awards program in May.

“We congratulate our student of the month winners for being such excellent representatives of high school career tech programs in Mississippi,” said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. “We’re proud of each of them for helping ensure our state has a highly skilled workforce to support the state’s growing construction and manufacturing industries.”

An avid member of SkillsUSA and the American Welding Society, Byrd is a standout in craft competitions across the state. He won first place in the 2017 Federation and District FFA Welding Team Competition while earning second place and posting the highest individual score in the 2017 state FFA Welding Competition.

Byrd also participates on the Greene County High School baseball team and is active in Fellowship Freewill Baptist Church, National Day of Prayer, Operation Christmas Child, Greene County 4-H horse shows, and the Sand Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

Upon graduation, Byrd plans to pursue an engineering degree at Mississippi State University.

With sights set on managing his own real estate company, Cunningham is intentional about using his construction foundation as a springboard. He eagerly takes on new assignments at school and in the community to broaden his experience.

Serving as Student Government Association vice president at Caledonia High School, he is a two-year member of the honor roll, the principal’s list and the superintendent’s list. He also is active in SkillsUSA, in which he earned first place regional honors in the job skills leadership interview division in 2018 and 2019.

Cunningham plans to continue his education at East Central Community College.

As a member of SkillsUSA, Taylor enjoys local and district construction competitions while helping his younger teammates achieve success. He is slated to compete as a member of his school’s welding fabrication team later this spring.

An avid outdoorsman, Taylor spends his free time hunting, fishing, and doing welding and fabricating projects/jobs with his father. He is also active in the South Panola Junior Civitan.

Taylor is enlisted in the Army National Guard and plans to be a vertical structure engineer.

MCEF is a non-profit educational foundation that provides NCCER craft training and credentialing in more than 100 career and technical programs across the state. The foundation’s mission is to train individuals for the construction and manufacturing industries in Mississippi.

MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades.