South High Students Place First and Second in State Architecture Competition

South High state champions Chris Behnke and Adam Newton with Teacher Mark Molinari


Two students from South High School in Downers Grove placed first and second in the Illinois Drafting Educators Association (IDEA)’s state competition, which was held at Illinois State University on April 14, 2012.

Junior Adam Newton took first place and is state champion in the 3D Architectural CAD competition.  Newton is the first student from South High School to win a state championship two years in a row. In 2011, he won the Architectural 2D competition.

Senior Chris Behnke placed second in the same category, 3D Architectural CAD.

The 3D Architectural CAD competition requires students to complete a fully dimensioned floor plan as well as 3D Virtual model of a residential home. All students must adhere to specific building parameters, as well as completing the project with a certain time constraint.

Also qualifying for state were South High student Ross Netzel, who competed in the Architectural CAD Drawing 2D category, and North High student Jordan Gill, who competed in Assembly Modeling. Teacher Tony Ciezaldo sponsors the SkillsUSA program at North High.

The students competed against qualifiers from 20 regions across Illinois.

“Both Adam and Chris put in a lot of time and effort to prepare for this rigorous state contest,” says South High Teacher Mark Molinari. “Both students are highly skilled, and it’s exciting to see them creating a strong foundation for a future in architecture--or any number of skilled careers they may choose.”

Both South High and North High strive promote job skills and readiness in part by taking part in the SkillsUSA organization, SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry that works together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. To learn more about SkillsUSA, please visit

For more information about South High School in Downers Grove, please visit

For more information about North High School in Downers Grove, please visit