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Kalab Ferrell named Outstanding Student of the Year
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A Machine Tool Technology student who chose technical education after compiling a Top 10 academic record in high school is the Outstanding Student of the Year for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McMinnville.
Kalab Ferrell of Smithville will compete against winners from eight other Midstate TCAT’s this Wednesday, Jan. 14, in Nashville. The top three in each division — Middle, East and West — will advance to state completion April 20 in Chattanooga. Prizes along the way are Dell Venue Pro tablets and, to the winner at the highest level, a new car.
At the McMinnville campus, judges and his instructor Randy England recognized Kalab’s accomplishments and his potential. England’s nomination said: “Kalab graduated high school in May 2014 and has decided to come to TCAT McMinnville to further his education of machine tool technology. Kalab is very eager to learn and plans on opening his own machine shop business after completing this machine tool class. Kalab has quickly become an asset to the machine tool class because of his willingness and ability to help others in the classroom. He is very likable, polite, dependable, and responsible and has a great personality. Kalab always arrives to class on time and helps with the classroom duties such as cleanliness of the shop and helping to make sure machines are set properly. Kalab is the newly elected parliamentarian for the SkillsUSA chapter at TCAT McMinnville. Kalab demonstrates the kind of admirable qualities needed in a great leader and student which is why I feel he will be a great choice for the Outstanding Student of the Year.”
Kalab listed his career objectives as: “To be successful as a machinist using all the skills I may acquire while attending a technical college so that I may eventually have the knowledge that will enable me to branch out on my own and continue my climb up the ladder of success as a machining professional.”
His reasons for choosing technical education were: “I chose technical education because it enabled me to pursue a career in something I enjoy doing every day. I will be able to accomplish personal goals in a field of work that has unlimited opportunities to be as successful as I want to be, but only if I am willing to put in the time and effort it takes to get there.”
Kalab’s resume shows work experience as a ferrier’s assistant, horse training, and farm work. He began his studies in September at TCAT McMinnville, took online classes from Motlow State Community College during high school and earned his diploma from DeKalb County High School last May. His high school GPA was 4.3871.

The annual Outstanding Student of the year competition is held at each of the 27 TCAT’s to develop leadership and job acquisition skills among students. In the process each TCAT benefits from the development of skilled spokespersons to further the cause of technical education. OSY selection criteria includes career goals, commitment to and knowledge of occupation, commitment to and knowledge of technical education, ability to communicate, enthusiasm, leadership qualities, self-confidence and presence.