School’s Out! A High School Valedictorian Makes the Smart Decision to Enter the HVAC Profession

June 13, 2023
By Staff Writer, PHCC-National Association

One year ago, Brent McDiarmid of PHCC member company Glenn Mechanical Co. in El Dorado, Arkansas, was sitting on stage at the Parkers Chapel High School graduation ceremony to present a scholarship to the school’s Class of 2022 valedictorian.

The scholarship provided Spencer Frisby – the young scholar who graduated with a 4.3 weighted GPA – with financial support to complete an online HVAC apprenticeship program and with an opportunity to work and earn money at Glenn Mechanical while he learned.

One year later, Frisby (pictured at right with McDiarmid) is excited about his decision to go into the trades right out of high school and his promising future. He’s on an accelerated path with his apprenticeship (hoping to finish in the next year) and already is working as an HVAC tech at Glenn Mechanical.

“A lot of people questioned my decision and wanted to know the pros and cons of going into the trades instead of college,” he says, “but I always came up with more pros than cons.” He adds that, had he gone to college, he believes he would have “wasted” four years of tuition, explaining that “with the high push for college these days,” the career opportunities in fields requiring that form of education aren’t as plentiful as they used to be. “Instead,” he says, “I realized I could spend four years making money while learning at the same time.”

Frisby credits McDiarmid with attracting him to the trades. “He told me it’s always something new … that I’d get to work at different places and work with my hands.” And the student who excelled in math throughout high school is putting his strength in that area to good work at Glenn Mechanical, explaining how important math has been when taking measurements and making cuts for duct work, in particular.

Excited about his professional future, Frisby says, “I hope to be at Glenn Mechanical for a long time … trying to move up the ladder. I’ve been involved in it all … commercial, residential, and industrial. I’ve been enjoying what I do.”

Frisby’s personal path also looks promising … he’s set to marry McDiarmid’s daughter, Tori, next March in Arkansas!

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