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“Knox County Career Center Landscape Design & Management Program Competes at Nationals

Mount Vernon, OH – Knox County Career Center’s (KCCC) Landscape Design &
Management program competed at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition March

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition is an annual three-day powerhouse
event which brings together the top landscape and horticulture students, top industry companies
and dozens of the biggest industry manufacturers and suppliers. This year 46 colleges were
represented with more than 800 students demonstrating their skills in real-world, competitive
events. Students also had the opportunity to network with top companies at the largest Career
Fair in the industry.

The competition was held in Starkville, MS on the campus of Mississippi State
University. KCCC had eight students compete in the competition including juniors Tristen
Hankinson and Oliver Ruprecht along with seniors Sydnee Lang, Ashton Johnson, AJ Fonner,
James Hurlow, Logan Dechant, and Mackenzie Ernsberger.

KCCC’s Landscape Design & Management students competed in the following
events–Compact Excavator Operation (Tristen Hankinson), Compact Track/Skid Steer Loader
Operation (Oliver Ruprecht), Construction Cost Estimating (Sydnee Lang & Ashton Johnson),
Hardscape Installation (AJ Fonner & James Hurlow), Landscape Maintenance Operations
(James Hurlow & Logan Dechant), Mini Track Loader Operation (Mackenzie Ernsberger), Track
& Trailer Operation (Logan Dechant & Oliver Ruprecht), and Turf & Weed Identification (Ashton
Johnson & James Hurlow).

KCCC’s notable placings include Logan Dechant & Oliver Ruprecht with a 7th place
finish in Truck & Trailer Operation, AJ Fonner & James Hurlow with a 13th place finish in
Hardscape Installation, and Oliver Ruprecht with a 14th place finish in Compact Track/Skid
Steer Loader Operation.

John Campbell, KCCC’s Landscape Design & Management instructor, said, “It was great
watching our high school students compete against college students from around the country.
Judges and employers are always amazed to learn that they are talking to high school students
and to hear that Ohio is the only state to do this competition at the high school level. Students
get the opportunity to talk with them and learn about Landscaping companies from all over the

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