Some sharp students in Limestone County got a huge pat on the back for a job well done.
Students at the Limestone County Career Tech Center scored some major hardware in a recent tech career competition.
Twenty-three students were recognized for excellence and 12 won first place in a variety of categories, ranging from computer maintenance to graphic communications to precision machining.
"We train. We work really hard," said Glennis Black, an instructor. "Starting in August, there are never any off days when they come to my program. We set short-term goals and long-term goals. I tell them up front I can train you and I can prepare you but I can't work for you."
The students won the awards at the State Skills USA Competition in Birmingham. There are dozens of categories in which to compete, and the Limestone County students more than held their own.
"It's awesome," said instructor Mike Raney. "I've been teaching -- this is my 17th year. You know, when you go down there and you bring home 12 first place medals, that makes you the big dog."
When you are the big dog like Raney says, you lead the pack.
"This school every year brings home 10 to 15 medals," said Raney.
Next year, they may have to rent a bigger truck to bring all the medals back.