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First female teen to win Ohio masonry competition bumped from national contest


King of Videos
DP Veteran
Jan 11, 2008
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First female teen to win Ohio masonry competition bumped from national contest | The Columbus Dispatch

Shania Clifford, a 17-year-old from Scioto County, became the first female to win a gold medal in the SkillsUSA Ohio masonry competition in late April.
But in mid-May, Clifford found out she would not be attending the next level of the competition, a national leadership and skills conference held in Louisville, Kentucky.

Judges in the masonry program, a field usually dominated by men, originally awarded Clifford first place by a whopping 72 points.

“She had the best plumb there,” Moore said. “Two or three corners were perfect.” Plumb refers to how straight a vertical edge is.

“This error affected results for several students,” Halpin said in the email, “and resulted in the rankings showing an incorrect winner of the competition.” Halpin added that no errors were made on the judges’ scoring sheets.
Clifford said: “My question was, ‘How can you override a judge’s decision? Why even have them?’“
She was relegated to third place by the re-scoring, switching places with the original third-place finisher.

Wonder if this is sexism or if 3rd place was close to the circle of power.

It could be either of the two options you mentioned, or it could be that they're telling the truth, and a mistake was made. It does sound bad though, and I would like to find out more details - especially if the original number 3 is a blood relative to someone in the decision process.
It looks like backdoor politics...

“The instructors from the other schools didn’t expect her to win. They kept telling me that there was another student who had the competition in the bag. Well, he placed third. For her to go up there and beat them, it’s quite a feat,” said Masonry Instructor, Larry Moore
Portsmouth Daily Times | Masonry student wins Gold
I followed up and emailed to the link. here's the reply. As usual with the internet not all the story was out there. They need to tighten up though.

"Communicate@education.ohio.gov <Communicate@education.ohio.gov>
4:49 PM (1 hour ago)

to Communicate
Thank you for contacting the Ohio Department of Education regarding the 2016 SkillsUSA Ohio Masonry competition.

During the competition, student scores were entered into score sheets by judges. Those scores were then entered into a spreadsheet manually to calculate final scores. When student scores were entered into the final score spreadsheet, an error was made and some scores were inadvertently duplicated, causing some students to receive double the score that they actually received. This error affected results for several students and resulted in the rankings showing an incorrect winner of the competition.

No errors were made in the judges’ score sheets themselves, and the final corrected scores reflect the scores on the individual score sheets for each student. Upon discovery of the error through the regular review process, the duplicate scores were removed to show the actual winner of the competition. SkillsUSA confirmed that Ohio has followed all policies pertaining to the resolution of errors.

The student who should have been awarded the gold medal at the competition will be the one to represent Ohio as the national competitor. The student who was incorrectly named the winner at the state competition is still invited to attend and observe the national competition. Corrective actions are being taken to improve the scoring process.

Regarding the way the student was informed of the error, the Ohio Department of Education’s policy is to communicate with each student’s school district, rather than with the students themselves. As soon as the error was discovered, administrators from all affected students’ school districts were contacted.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Ohio Department of Education
Office of Communications and Outreach "
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