Heidelberg Hails Two-Time Gold Medalist in SkillsUSA Championships
One of the nicer moments at Print 09 occurred when Heidelberg saluted John Litwinowicz (
By Patrick Henry
Published: September 25, 2009
One of the nicer moments at Print 09 occurred when Heidelberg saluted John Litwinowicz (center), the high school winner of the Gold medal for graphic communcations in the 2009 SkillsUSA Championships. He’s seen here with, from left, Bernhard Schreier, board chairman and CEO, Heidelberg Druckmaschinen AG; Mike Stinnett, his printing instructor at Royal Oak High School (Royal Oak, MI); his mother, Cynthia Hampel-Litwinowicz; and Jim Dunn, president, Heidelberg USA. Mr. Litwinowicz is a two-time winner of the SkillsUSA Gold medal for graphic communications, having also captured it last year as the youngest student ever to be so honored. This year’s SkillsUSA Championships, held June 21-26 in Kansas City, MO, hosted more than 5,400 contestants competing in 91 different skill and leadership contests. The graphic communications competition is a seven-part contest comprising written, oral, and hands-on exercises in digital workflow, electronic prepress, finishing, offset press operation, professional assessment, production planning, and technical knowledge. In the printing test, students are evaluated on how well they can prepare a press, install plates, makeready to print, and print two colors on a preprinted two-color sheet. Heidelberg, a longtime supporter of the SkillsUSA graphic communications competition, also supports participating schools with donations of equipment. At Royal Oak High School, Mr. Litwinowicz honed his skills on a Printmaster QM 46 offset press and a POLAR 66 cutter. Mr. Litwinowicz, a senior, aspires to be a graphic designer. Printing, says his mother, “suits him to a T. He’s been designing fonts since he was 12 years old.” Mr. Stinnett calls him “one of the most talented students we’ve ever had,” a compliment that he does not bestow lightly. Mr. Stinnett’s graphic communications program, which currently enrolls 200 students, has netted four SkillsUSA golds over the last four years, including the two taken by Mr. Litwinowicz.