Zone and district winners from both the literary and poster contests: Alivia Brown Isabel Hill Ayden Chapman Jocelyn Chumbley Jessica Byers Evan Backus Savannah Byers Victoria Allin Tate Smith. Jessica Byers also went on to win senior first place in the black and white poster contest at the district level as well as second place in the senior essay contest. Back row left Anthony Crofts and Paul Sisson./JENN WATT Staff

Student painter ready to beautify local homes

By Darren Lum

Published March 27 2018

Haliburton Highlands Secondary School graduate Rachel Churko is ready to bring colour to local homes this summer offering her painting services.
Churko already has a few projects lined up as the owner/operator of Student Works Painting Haliburton region. The first-year Queen’s University science student is not adverse to hard work and thrives on challenge.
She got straight A’s in high school while competing for school teams such as the Red Hawks varsity girls field hockey team. It’s this attention to detail that the operator of Student Works said she will apply to every project this spring and summer ensuring they get done correctly.
“I make sure that everything is done right the first time. Also with Student Works there is a three-year warranty guarantee so I’ll definitely be making sure that things are done right the first time so we don’t have to go back and waste their time and our time” she wrote in an email.

When she’s not attending classes she’s been dancing with the Queen’s Dance Club which is a continuation from dancing with the Haliburton Dance Academy. Part of the impetus to earn money in the trades this summer came from the satisfaction she felt after seeing the result of her work painting her parents’ house.
“After so much hard work and so much time put into a project it gives you a huge sense of accomplishment once you’re finished and you see how good everything looks!” she wrote in an email. “It gave me a lot of insight so I didn’t come in empty handed. Like I definitely had a lot of experience on interior painting before coming into it.”

She said the application process to become a Student Works supervisor required a “huge screening process including resume online personality test meetings phone interviews and then a final in-person interview with the CEO of Student Works.”
She also attended a day-long training session in Toronto. This included the necessary preparation for painting and particular painting skills such as “cutting” – painting areas requiring precision. There is no shortage of support for her she said whether it’s her district manager and other experienced Student Works operators or her father who is the owner of Churko Electric.
“I definitely go to my dad with a lot of questions. Just to see his take on it. Even if it is around painting he still has that business side so he definitely helps me out a lot” she said.
She has already lined up a few jobs and is optimistic to add more in spring and summer.
“So far it’s looking to be a good summer” she said.

She will begin work in early May and plans to wrap up all the projects by the end of August with university classes resuming the first week of September. She will accept work mainly in the village of Haliburton and surrounding area. However depending on the work she said she would accept work up to an hour away. Currently she has one crew of two people. She hopes to recruit a few more to fill out three crews by the summer to paint interiors exteriors and stain decks.
Contact Churko at 705-455-7400 or for employment or service. She also posts information to her Facebook page: Rachel Churko Painting Services.
After a few information sessions last year she got the idea to take on the responsibility of leading a painting crew. She looks forward to being outside earning her own money with the challenge of doing something she has never done before.
“I could really see myself doing [this job]” she said.
Being the daughter of a parent with close to 30 years as an electrician she had thought of trades before.
She believes what she will learn during this spring and summer will be applicable to her success in the future whatever career path she takes.
“It’s great experience … I mean already I’ve learned so many [skills] like communication skills and things like that from talking with clients and making sure everyone is happy. That you can carry into any profession so … the big thing is the experience” she said.