Speaking of his recently graduated student, masonry instructor Steve Cheatwood wrote, "I just can't express how I feel about this young man."
Cheatwood later described Dustin Daniel as someone "he would match against anyone in just hard work and good attitude." In addition, Cheatwood says, Daniel was liked by everyone in school.
Daniel and his older brother now work for their father in Daniels Masonry. In spite of growing up in a family of masons, Daniel worked extremely hard at learning and honing his masonry skills, both from his father and from Cheatwood who instructed him for four years in the Lawrence County High School masonry program.
"He was a stellar student," Cheatwood says. "He always had a knack for it (masonry), but that wasn't enough for him. He worked hard at it. He took his projects seriously; but most importantly, his work ethic stood out."
Daniel never shied away from competitions, Cheatwood reports. "He loved the competitions. He was never nervous. He was so confident."
"It was a lot of fun to attend the national masonry competition in Kansas City last summer as Dustin's sponsor," says Cheatwood. "Dustin's older brother competed in union apprenticeship; and, as a youngster, so did I. The difference was that after I won the Tennessee state competition, I got married and didn't attend the national contest. Through Dustin, I got to see what I missed!"
"His confidence never ceased to amaze me. Where I was a nervous wreck, Dustin was calm, always under control. I never saw him in a contest where he didn't feel that he should earn the first place prize."
Cheatwood concluded, "Dustin and his family are very close. It's so enjoyable to see good families in the trade. And it's so good to see such good work in the trade. Daniels Masonry does top-of-the-line work. They are immaculate bricklayers."