Phoenix Challenge Celebrates 20 Years

CHARLOTTE, NC | March 22–24 marked the 20th year of the High School Skills Competition sponsored by the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, an event that continues to breed talent and interest in graphic arts and flexographic production.

The competition featured 36 students, making up 18 teams, who went to work to prove their skills in the various disciplines from prepress, platemaking and mounting to mathematics and written skills to print setup and press operation. The results came after two and half days of skills challenges and pressroom judging:

First Place – Team #7 from Knox High School – Michael Poindexter and Riley Pingel

Second Place – Team #2 from Asheville High School – Travis Brown and Shanna Pumphrey

Third Place – Team #6 from Fairfield Career & Technology Center – Daniel Yarborough and Daniel Gittens

Prizes are awarded by earning the highest combined scores in the competition. Along with the First Place award, the team will each receive a $1,000 Phoenix Challenge Foundation Scholarship and will take home the Harper Flexo High School of the Year trophy cup for display at the school.

The Phoenix Challenge Foundation board presented an inaugural Heart of a Servant Award to Bettylyn Krafft, chairman of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, in recognition of her faithful and unwavering support of the of the Foundation and its efforts to grow not only at the high school level but at the college level.

“We are lucky to have had the dedication and perseverance of Bettylyn at the helm of the Foundation since its beginning,” says Howard Vreeland Jr., board member and president of Anderson & Vreeland. “Her love and support of flexo education and especially to the students is something we admire deeply and are beyond fortunate to have. She is a true servant to others.”

The next endeavor for the Phoenix Challenge Foundation this year is the 10th Annual College Competition, which will take place in Phoenix, AZ, on, April 29 during the annual FFTA Forum and INFO-FLEX events. More than 50 college students will compete for top honors.

“It has been an amazing 20 years,” says Krafft. “I have loved watching the kids grow and learn through these unique experiences only found in our industry. Then, I see them working along side all of us, in our industry, as our professional colleagues. That is the most rewarding of all is to see how far these kids can go if we just take the time and nurture their natural interests. The next 20 years will be just as rewarding.”

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