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Meet a Cabinetmaking Student

Kaydee Walters graduated in June from Tooele High School where she was a member of the track and field team and the SkillsUSA Vice President. As Vice President, Kaydee joined with the Tooele High School SkillsUSA chapter to collect over 800 lbs. of food for the local food bank. This service project was in conjunction with the SkillsUSA National Week of Service.



During her last two years of high school Kaydee participated in several SkillsUSA competitions. Last year, she was a member of the Quiz Bowl team who won first place at the state competition and then placed ninth at the national competition. In March, Kaydee participated in the state SkillsUSA cabinetmaking competition where she placed first. In June, she advanced to the SkillsUSA National Skills and Leadership Conference in Kansas City. In this competition students received a set of plans they have never seen before and were required to build the project within six hours. The students were given only enough materials to do it right the first time. Projects were scored on an accuracy of 1/32 inch. Kaydee performed with accuracy and precision. She was the gold medal winner in cabinetmaking surpassing 49 competitors—all of whom were male. Kaydee was the first female, ever, to win this competition.

Woodworking is Kaydee’s passion and has been for a long time. “Throughout my high school career I focused on the Cabinetmaking/Millwork CTE Pathway.” Michael Florence, Kaydee’s cabinetmaking instructor says, “Early on, Kaydee exhibited the potential to be a skilled woodworker. Kaydee designed and built her first personal woodworking project with very little help. The craftsmanship was not perfect, but the understanding and ability she displayed during its design and construction was outstanding.” Through hard work, perseverance and dedication Kaydee honed her skills and became a skilled craftsman. “I am very dedicated to my work. I am a hard worker. I am motivated, strong willed, and efficient. . . My CTE classes in high school prepared me in many ways. Such as teaching me the knowledge I needed to know about woodworking, learning about all the tools and machines and how to use them, and how to create and read plans.”

Kaydee completed the Cabinetmaking/Millwork Pathway and received the CTE Secondary Pathways Completer Recognition Award. She also received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to Utah Valley University (UVU) where she will be studying Cabinetry and Architectural Woodworking to earn an associate degree. “Upon completing my degree I will find a job in a cabinetmaking and architectural woodworking business, like Fetzer Architectural Woodwork, or a similar company that produces high quality, custom made furniture and cabinetry. This will allow me to gain the experience I will need to obtain my ultimate goal of owning and operating my own custom woodworking business.”

“[CTE] classes, my participation and leadership in SkillsUSA, and all the classes I will be taking in college will help me to enter and succeed in cabinetmaking and architectural woodwork.”

UtahCTE.org congratulates Kaydee on her many accomplishments and wishes her all the best as she advances to college and career.

4 Responses to “Meet a Cabinetmaking Student”

  1. Teresa Thompson Says:

    Congratulations Kaydee! You are an inspiration to young ladies across the nation—way to show those young men how to build:) Good luck as you prepare for the Worldskills; I look forward to hearing how you do.

  2. Janet Goble Says:

    Congratulations, Kaydee! I think this is terrific, especially since she’s the first female to win this award. What a great example of a non-traditional student!

  3. Dale Pfister Says:

    Congratulations, Kaydee. As a former woods teacher, I know how much this must mean to Kaydee because she busted out of the stereotype and set a fast pace for the men…good job!

  4. Dale Pfister Says:

    Congrats, Kaydee. Way to burst all the stereotypes!

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