PEARL ― Three of Mississippi’s top-performing career and technical education students are receiving student of the year awards from the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation. The annual recognition celebrates the top-achieving career and technical education students from MCEF's three districts and includes a $500 cash prize.

Recipients include northern district winner Luke Burleson, a welding student at Tupelo Career and Technical Center; central district winner Cameron Esco, an industrial maintenance student at Hinds Community College Technical Center; and southern district winner Trevor McLeod, a welding student at Greene County Vocational Center.
"We congratulate Luke, Cameron and Trevor for earning student of the year awards and for being excellent representatives of high school career tech programs in Mississippi," said Mike Barkett, MCEF president. "We're proud of all of our students of the year and students of the month for helping ensure that Mississippi has a highly skilled workforce to support the state's growing construction and manufacturing industries."

Student of the year winners were selected from a field of 18 students of the month for 2020-21. Instructor nominations for student of the month are based on grades, attendance, class discipline, outstanding achievements, leadership abilities and post-graduation plans.

An up-and-coming craftsman with a passion for community service, Burleson’s impressive leadership skills and exemplary character combine to help create a positive school environment and example for other students.

In addition to his strong academic performance, Burleson manages a full schedule of activities that includes archery, scholastic shooting and baseball. He also volunteers with Faith Food Pantry, Tupelo Athletics Live Media Streaming and Brewer United Methodist Church.

Burleson hopes to become a wildlife biologist.

Esco stands out for his motivation, dependability and eagerness to learn. Touting a near-perfect grade point average and a perfect attendance record, he was recently certified by the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

He is in constant pursuit of ways to sharpen his skills as a craftsman and plans to attend college and study mechanical engineering after graduation.

McLeod touts an abundance of extracurricular activities, including FFA, Beta Club, 4H, Summit Youth Group, church outreach and children’s ministry, hurricane cleanup, and community volunteerism for elderly and widows.

Following graduation, he plans to study electrical engineering.

MCEF is a non-profit educational foundation that provides NCCER craft training and credentialing in more than 100 career and technical programs across the state. The foundation’s mission is to train individuals for the construction and manufacturing industries in Mississippi.

MCEF also offers workforce training and credentialing in construction, industrial maintenance and manufacturing trades. Learn more about MCEF at