A trio of Stillwater Area High School students brought home a gold medal in the school’s first foray into a state vocational-technical skills competition.

The students — Jake Lueders, Nick Sonnek and Garrett Stotts — were tasked with creating a grill from scratch.

The three had six hours to finish the assignment as part of a spring championship event organized by the group Skills­USA Minnesota.

On its website, the group says it helps high school and college students build “outstanding technical, academic and employability skills.”

A Stillwater Area Public Schools news release that touted the welding trio’s success made no mention of jobs being offered on the spot. The district said that the students were judged on the merits of the finished grill and its design, as well as how well they worked as a team.

Although this was the first year that the district’s high school participated in the event, Stillwater Area Public Schools has a transition program for 18- to 21-year-olds through which students have competed for three years.

Shakopee schools director moves north

J.P. Jacobson, director of instructional technology for Shakopee Public Schools, has been chosen to be the next principal of Century Junior High in Forest Lake.

He will succeed Ben Lewis, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Century is one of two junior highs in the Forest Lake district.

Jacobson grew up in Frazee, Minn., and has a career that includes an award-winning stint as a middle-school math teacher in North Las Vegas, Nev.

In 2007, he returned to Minnesota to serve as assistant principal at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids, a Forest Lake district news release said.

Three years later, Jacobson joined Shakopee Public Schools and was principal at East Junior High before joining the superintendent’s cabinet as instructional technology czar.

According to the Shakopee district website, Jacobson is married, has two young daughters, and lives in Lino Lakes.