LAS VEGAS  – Zachery Lush, a student at Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON., won The Best of Show Award, in the 2015 AWFS® Fresh Wood Competition after judges reviewed the projects of 40 finalists from 21 different high schools and colleges in the U.S. and Canada at the AWFS®Fair in Las Vegas. Twenty-six students went home with monetary prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000.
 
Lush was awarded a coveted, custom veneer-marquetry sculpture made by master craftsman Paul Schürch, for his shelf Gravity.  This was the first year for the new trophy, which will feature a sculpture made by a different woodworking artist each year. He received $1,000 and a Rikon 14” Bandsaw.  He also received First Place in the High School Open category of the competition, which included another $1,000 prize and a Certificate of Merit. The Best of Show award is sponsored by Rikon Power Tools.
 
Fair attendees awarded the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Wagner Meters, and a $500 prize to Werner Pyka from Palomar College, for his Quint-Essential federal-style gaming table, which also won First Place in the Post-Secondary tables category.
 
Two teachers had multiple student winners: David Welter, College of Redwoods; Peter Boeckh, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School; Tim McNeill, Corner Canyon High School; Jack Stone, Palomar College; Keith Yow, Cedar Ridge High School.
 
The judging panel - consisting of Bob Barone, a luthier; Martin Goebel, owner of Goebel & Co Furniture; Daniel Hellman, co-owner of Hellman-Chang; Saul Martin, Architectural Woodworking Company; Richard A. Schroeder, Stanley Furniture and Davide Tonizzo, Design D - provided a variety of perspectives to the judging process.   
 
First Place winners in each category and at each school level received a $1,000 prize, Second Place winners received $500 and Honorable Mention winners received $250. AWFS covers project shipping and the majority of travel and hotel costs to bring the students and their teachers to Las Vegas.
 
The biennial event, held as part of AWFS®Fair, attracted 169 entries from 44 different schools in the United States and Canada in 2015, which represents a 30% increase in entries from the previous competition in 2013.
 
High School Level First Place Winners 
Case Goods: Isaac Lutz, Cedar Ridge High School, Hillsborough, NC, Secret Ingredient
Tables: Mae Garcia, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Burst
Seating: Brittney Hoffmeier, Mustang High School, Mustang, OK, Sam Maloof Rocking Chair Replica
Open: Zachery Lush, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Gravity
Design for Production: Elizabeth Mawalal, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Kage
Special Theme: Musical Instruments: Sadie Chidester, Corner Canyon High School, Draper, UT, Featherprint
Post-secondary Level First Place Winners 
Case Goods: Matthew Spallinger, University of Rio Grande, Rio Grande, OH, Miniature Highboy
Tables: Werner Pyka, Palomar College, San Marcos, CA, Quint-Essential
Seating: Austin (Tian) Yang, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, Grace Chair
Open: Joshua Torbick, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, Standing Wedge
Design for Production: Jonathan Manoles, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, Bent Lounge Chair
Special Theme: Musical Instruments: Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney, College of the Redwoods, Fort Bragg, CA, Cabinetmaker’s Zither
High School Level Second Place Winners 
Case Goods: Erik Lutz, Cedar Ridge High School, Hillsborough, NC, Port Hole Desk
Tables: Daniela Karmalyuk, Dale Jackson Career Center, Lewisville, TX Nature’s Beauty Table
Seating: Onkar Nagra, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Eclipse
Open: Kayla Dean, Mustang High School, Mustang, OK, Mahogany Baby Cradle
Special Theme: Musical Instruments: Jake Rubisch, Corner Canyon High School, Draper, UT, Mahogany Gem
Post-secondary Level Second Place Winners 
Tables: William Strenger, Palomar College, San Marcos, CA, Arch Bridge
Seating: Jessica Osserman, College of the Redwoods, Fort Bragg, CA, Variations on a theme
Case Goods: Matt Mecaro, Palomar College, San Marcos, CA, Krenov-Inspired Cabinet 
High School Level Honorable Mention Winners 
Case Goods: Zachary Studdard, Rolla Technical Institute, Rolla, MO, The Herring
Open: Alex Salzman, Lincoln East High School, Lincoln, NE, Bubinga Player
Special Theme: Musical Instruments: Porter Thorkelson, Corner Canyon High School, Draper, UT, Sun Burst
Post-secondary Level Honorable Mention Winners 
Seating: Funi Ding, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, Merge
Design for Production: Benjamin Pedrick, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, Sema Seat
Case Goods: Nick Weiers, Hennepin Technical College, Faribault, MN, Stereo Cabinet