- Features | August 6, 2013
The Unprecedented Feat of Perfection
One of the rare achievements in life is perfection. When people claim that something is perfect, there are typically flaws that have gone unnoticed. Furthermore, when perfection is accomplished, it is commonly over a very brief period of time. Steven Nemeth, a 2013 graduate of the Mid-South IEC and employee of Davis Electric in Memphis, Tennessee, debunks this conventional wisdom, by getting 100 percent in the Apprentice Program. Not only did he accomplish perfection, but he did it over four years.
IEC’s Apprentice Training Program provides the opportunity to learn in the classroom as well as on the job. Apprentices who find a good balance and place an emphasis on learning often excel in both the courses and the field. The classroom work consists of traditional book study as well as lab work.
Steven Nemeth approached his school work with complete focus and vigor. “Any free time that I would get, I spent it studying,” Steven said. “Whether it was my lunch break or reading my notes on the way to class, I always took the time to prepare.”
Steven’s diligence paid off in a major way. In his journey through the Mid-South IEC Apprentice Program Steven received 100 percent on every test, mid-term, final exam, and assignment. In all four years, he never missed a point – achieving complete, indisputable perfection.
“I have been the executive director of the Mid-South IEC for 13 years and every year at our graduation ceremony we have presented an award for the highest GPA,” IEC Mid-South Executive Director Walt Czyrnik explained. “Typically the winner is in the mid-90s, which is a very good score. For Steven to study that hard and be that committed; to ace every final, every mid-term, and have 100 percent all four years is unprecedented.”
The Mid-South IEC graduation is one of the chapter’s largest annual events; more than 100 attendees came to watch the apprentices accept their certificates. The speaker and presenter of the certificates was the Mayor of Memphis A.C. Wharton. The Mayor and the rest of the crowd were in awe that Steven had achieved such a rare and significant feat.
Steven was recognized on graduation night for more than just his perfect score. He swept the major categories by winning the award for best attendance, having only missed one day of class in all four years. Steven also won the chapter’s Apprentice Wire-Off Competition. This consists of a series of complex hands-on tests that fourth year apprentices attempt to solve to be named the Mid-South IEC Apprentice of the Year.
When Steven went on stage to accept his awards at the graduation the crowd erupted. It was hard to believe that one apprentice could accomplish so much. The first people to rise and give Steven a standing ovation were his fellow classmates. “We (apprentices) leaned on each other throughout the four years,” Steven stated. “We liked to support one another. There was a little bit of friendly teasing too; we are in construction after all.”
In all of the commotion Steven did not realize that he had received a standing ovation. When he was on stage his emotions ranged from surprise to humility. “I knew that I had 100 percent but I was completely unaware of how big of a deal it was,” Steven continued. “I was pretty shocked at the response.”
He received his certificate and plaques from Mayor Wharton, who was amazed of Steven’s accomplishments. Before Steven could leave the stage, Walt asked if he would like to address the audience to which Steven responded emphatically, “No thank you.” His humble spirit did not want to take too much attention away from his fellow graduates.
Two of the proudest people in the audience that day were Randy and Dana Davis, owners of Davis Electric. “I knew he was doing well and kept up with his progress,” Randy said. “We are so proud of his accomplishments, as we are all of our graduates.” Davis Electric had two other apprentices graduate that night, Jerry Boyce