Expertise on show

District students highlight their skills at SkillsUSA

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren County Career Center students who participated in the SkillsUSA District 10 Competition included (front, from left): Mitch Rehe, Alexis Hoffman, Katelynn Wiles, Natasha Ferry, Nate Baxter, Toby Jackson, Lindsay Kramer, Jayce Turner, Anthony Tundel, Matt Klenck, Ryan Fitzsimmons, and Kohl Feeney; and (back) Bree Huntington, Brianna Brooks, Marissa Beardsley, Olivia Hummel, AJ Slattery, Joseph Reichle, Jarod Peterson, Dominic Loucks, and Connor Hecei. Missing from photo is Alisa Nuhfer.

A group of Warren County Career Center students demonstrated their expertise at the SkillsUSA District Championships.

The competition is open to career and technical center students. There were students from 14 schools – from Butler to Erie to Bradford – at the district event.

Out of 34 participants from Warren County School District, 10 brought home hardware.

Connor Hecei earned a gold medal in auto maintenance and will move on to the state competition April 13 in Hershey.

Earning silver medals were:

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Warren County Career Center students who participated in the SkillsUSA District 10 Competition included (front, from left): Jared Spencer, Allison Cressley, Mackenzie Dunn, and Haylee Irvin; and (back) Madison Cathcart, Hailey Shirlaw, Marissa VanGuilder, Dominic Sproveri, Molly Helman, and Miranda Saunders.

¯ Matthew Klenck — precision machining;

¯ Olivia Hummel — collision damage appraisal;

¯ Jarod Peterson — criminal justice;

¯ Natasha Ferry — job interview;

¯ AJ Slattery — architectural drafting; and

¯ Marissa Beardsley — technical drafting.

The bronze medal winners were:

¯ Bree Huntington — pin design;

¯ Brianna Brooks — medical terminology; and

¯ Kohl Feeney — carpentry.

“Every kid that tried it deserves credit,” Advisor Fred Backhus said.

The other WCCC competitors were: Faith Donnell, Madison Cathcart, Miranda Saunders, Hailey Shirlaw, Alexis Hoffman, Alisa Nuhfer, Mitch Rehe, Nate Baxter — all health knowledge bowl; Katelynn Wiles — first aid/CPR; Marissa VanGuilder — medical math; Molly Helman — basic health care; Lindsay Kramer — T-shirt design; Joseph Reichle — CNC turning specialist; Jakobe Anthony — firefighting; Allison Cressley — first aid/CPR; Mackenzie Dunn, Haylee Irvin, and Jared Spencer — crime scene investigation; Anthony Tundel — electrical construction wiring; Ryan Fitzsimmons — masonry; Dominic Sproveri — collision refinishing tech; Dominic Loucks — automotive refinishing; Jayce Turner — diesel equipment technology; and Kianna Jackson – technical computer applications.

The SkillsUSA is intended to “develop employability, participatory, and leadership skills” in students and to “complement skills developed by students in technical education classrooms or work-based learning sites.”

One of the keys that Backhus sees in the program is that it “fosters a deep respect for the dignity of work.”

But, there are more tangible rewards for those who advance.

“Students who do well have the potential for scholarships and job offers,” he said.

“They all did a great job,” Backhus said. “And they had a good time.”

As usual, local support for career center activities was generous. Backhus cited Whirley DrinkWorks, Betts Industries, Superior Tire and Rubber, and the Myers Foundation for their support of the students and the SkillsUSA program.


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