By SHANNON WATKINS
Pulaski County High School Technical Education students won 25 awards at the SkillsUSA District VII competition, hosted by Patrick Henry High’s Roanoke Technical Education Center. The even took place Feb. 27.
Students competed in over 15 skill contests and 20 leadership contests.
“This is an opportunity to showcase the technical skills and ‘soft’ skills that students learn while in a program area in SkillsUSA,” said James Fleshman, Collision Repair instructor at Pulaski County Career and Technical Center.
Fleshman spoke from experience; he has had a first place winner in Collision Repair the past three years. During his first year as an instructor, he had a student place first in state competition and went on to place in the top 20 in the nation.
This year, two other PCHS teachers, Bunchy Compton, electricity instructor, and Josh Graham, welding instructor, who are new to SkillsUSA, will have first place winners to represent the school at the state competition.
First and some second place winners will now have the opportunity to compete in the Virginia State SkillsUSA state competition at the Roanoke Civic Center. The competition runs from April 19-20, approximately 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public.
The following students placed at the District VII SkillsUSA competition:
Third place in Nail Care Technology: Olivia Poole and model Chelsea Phibbs; third place for the Quiz Bowl team: Joey Edmonds, Breana Arnold, Stephen Earhart, Candice Shay, and Amanda Monroe;
third place in Team Works: Joe Vaught, Thomas Croteau, Dusty Dishon, and Chase Martin.
Second place in Collision Repair Technology: Tyler Wendell; second place in Automotive Refinishing: Brandon Akers; second place in Occupational Scrapbook: Amy Smith, Mackenzie Hamilton; second place in Wiring: Wheeler Caldwell.
First place in Residential Wiring: Wesley Vest; first place in Automotive Refinishing: Josh Jones; first place in Extemporaneous Writing: Morgan Williams; first place as Students of the Year: Joey Edmonds and Breana Arnold.
In January of this year, Edmonds, a PCHS senior and Virginia State SkillsUSA President, attended the Association for Career and Technical Education conference in Richmond, meeting with state legislators to express concern for the importance of ongoing career and technical education.
Further, Welding Art Sculpture students Stephen Earhart and Jordan Reed advanced to state level, and state officer candidates Stephen Earhart and Breana Arnold will be campaigning to become state officers for the 2013-2014 school year.