CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Career technical education students from Berkeley, Jackson, Kanawha, Pocahontas, Putnam and Wyoming counties have captured top honors at the Skills USA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo.
Industry leaders representing more than 1,100 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for their demonstrated excellence in 94 hands-on occupational and leadership contests, such as robotics, electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. All contests are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards. Nearly 6,000 students participated in the events.
“It makes me proud any time West Virginia students excel on a national level,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. “This competition allows students to test their skills against their peers and opens the door to numerous educational opportunities. I wish them future success.”
MacKenzie Halterman, Derek Hamman, Patrick Martin, Nicholas Solliday, Gabriel Walkup and Phillip Whiteis, students at Pocahontas High School, received the high school gold medal in chapter business procedures. Carrie Easter, Brittani Elmore, Allison Oxley, Baley Rummell, Chelsea Shue, Danielle Smith and Kendra Wagner from the Putnam Career and Technical Center won gold in opening and closing. Stephanie Schoolcraft, a post-secondary student at Carver Career Center in Kanawha County, won gold in nail care.
Cody Cunningham and Mayson Pine, post-secondary students at the Wyoming County Vo-Tech Center, finished in second place in mobile robotic technology. Finishing in third place was Ashley Bowman, a student at Putnam Career and Technical Center, in dental assisting. Also capturing third place honors were Putnam Career and Technical Center post-secondary student Abigail Crown in dental assisting. James Meade, a student at Putnam Career and Technical Center, finished third in plumbing. Codey Oxley, a student at Ben Franklin Career Center in Kanawha County, was third in internetworking, while Alexandra Baker, a post-secondary student at James Rumsey Technical Institute in Berkeley County, was third in job skill demo A. Kerri Vicedo, a post-secondary student at Roane-Jackson Technical Center also was third in technical computer applications.
Twenty-three other West Virginia students reveived certificates for Top 10 finishes: Jacob Hall, Putnam Career and Technical Center, post-secondary, advertising design, sixth; Bret Maclver, Wood County Technical Center, high school, architectural drafting, eighth; Stephen Sammons, Wyoming County Vo-Tech, post secondary, chapter display, seventh; Kia Wright, Nicholas County Vo-Tech Center, high school, commercial baking, 10th; Sara Knight, Roane-Jackson Technical Center, post secondary, computer maintenance technology, 10th; Carly Settle, Carver Career Center, post-secondary, cosmetology, seventh; Josh Cook, Carver Career Center, post-secondary, electrical construction wiring, eighth; Caitlyn Hughes, Putnam Career and Technical Center, high school, employment application process, fifth; Steven White, Wood County Technical Center, high school, firefighting, eighth; Clifford Starcher, Ben Franklin Career Center, post-secondary, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, ninth; Matthew Toothman, Marion County Technical Center, high school, industrial motor control, fifth; Caleb Hill, Putnam Career and Technical Center, post-secondary, internetworking, sixth; Drew McKown, James Rumsey Technical Institute, high school, job interview, fifth; Terry Thompson, Academy of Careers and Technology, post-secondary, masonry, eighth; Tyler Thompson, Putnam Career and Technical Center, high school, mobile electronics installation, ninth; Alexander Hyre and Spencer Little, James Rumsey Technical Institute, high school, mobile robotic technology, eighth; Victoria Grace, James Rumsey Technical Institute, high school, pin design, eighth; Jonathan Hensley, Putnam Career and Technical Center, high school, plumbing, 10th; Alyssa Hager, Lincoln County High School, high school, prepared speech, sixth; Justin Fralin, Wyoming County Vo-Tech, post-secondary, related technical math, ninth; Alexandra Taylor, Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center, high school, technical computer applications, eighth; Molly Quigley, James Rumsey Technical Institute, high school, T-shirt design, 10th; and Breanna Johnson, Putnam Career and Technical Center, post-secondary, T-shirt design, seventh.
In addition to receiving medals, high scorers in 86 occupational and leadership areas also were awarded Skill Point Certificates. Fifty-one students across West Virginia received those certificates.
Arch Coal provided funding so that West Virginia students participating in opening ceremonies could each wear a lighted mining hat to illustrate the state’s coal mining heritage. This year’s opening ceremony was sponsored by Caterpillar, while the keynote speaker was Mike Rowe, the creator and executive producer of Discovery Channel’s Emmy-nominated series “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.”
For more information, contact the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699, or visit www.SkillsUSA.org.