Laying the foundation for success

Oehme travels to Vegas for masonry competition


Photo by: Kaitlyn Kidd

Senior Coltin Oehme prepares for the World of Concrete and Masonry Tradeshow held in Las Vegas in January. "I'm building projects right now, [preparing for Vegas]," Oheme said. "I'm practicing different designs and different laying techniques in case the project they give me is a litter tougher than I think." Oheme has been enrolled in the Masonry program for two years.

For senior Coltin Oehme, competing at the World of Concrete and Masonry Tradeshow in Las Vegas will become a reality in January.

“I’m really nervous and excited about this competition. I don’t know how to put into words how I feel,” Coltin said. “I have never been to a competition this large before. The only thing that compares is when I [competed] at the state level and won second.”

He has been involved in the Fort Scott Community College masonry program for the last two years, and has had experience outside the program for even longer because of his family’s involvement in masonry.

“Coltin has grown up in and around a masonry family, so I have worked with him a lot,” Nacoma Oehme, his uncle and masonry instructor, said. “I own Next Generation Masonry as well as teach, and last summer Coltin worked for me on masonry crew as a laborer.”

Each year, Nacoma selects one student in his classes to attend the tradeshow and competition in January. He has taught these skills for the past eight years.

“I wish that the masonry program was more popular with high-school age students than it currently is,” Nacoma said. “There is a chance to learn a life-long trade that can make students a lot of money as a career or help pay to further their education.”

The high school pays for the program’s courses and college hours. These courses include: masonry, welding, and carpentry. Coltin is one of 34 students who are taking advantage of this opportunity.

“This program has done so much for me. It has made me a more determined person,” Coltin said. “[This competition] will be a great learning experience for me and it will be awesome to see what kind of competition I will have there.”