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A Harley goes to college: Alex Tech student's performance benefits school

Representatives from Apol's Harley Davidson, (at left) Trevor Apol and Tom Brenden, presented a 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle to the Powersports program at Alexandria Technical and Community College. Faculty member Duke Kleman (second from right) and student Billy Peters received the donated motorcycle. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press)

Billy Peters, a former student at Alexandria Technical and Community College, won big at the SkillsUSA National Motorcycle Competition. So big that Harley Davidson provided the college's Powersports program with a 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Peters and faculty member Duke Kleman were presented with the motorcycle Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Apol's Harley Davidson in Alexandria by Apol representatives Tom Brenden and Trevor Apol.

Kleman explained that Peters took first place at the local level at the college's SkillsUSA contest and then he took first place again at the state competition, which let him compete at the national level where he placed second.

The national competition took place June 19-23 in Kentucky. In addition to the motorcycle donation to the college, which was worth nearly $17,000, Peters also said he and the college received other prizes from Harley Davidson, along with SnapOn Tools, Carhart and other businesses.

Peters said the incentives are nice, but it's more rewarding to know that his schooling paid off. He said it also helps in that placing second at the national level is a boost for his resume. Peters, who graduated this past spring from the Powersports program, works at Polaris in Wyoming, Minnesota, in research, development and technology.

Kleman said that it means a lot for the students in the program to receive the motorcycle because it allows them to work on an updated piece of equipment that more accurately reflects today's technology. The motorcycle is an updated addition to the program's fleet, said Kleman.

He said the school has partnered with Apol's before and that a relationship with a dealership is good not only for the college and its students, but also for the future of the company's employees.

"They take education very seriously," said Kleman of Apol's. "It shows they are investing in their future."

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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