Abigail Clark waves to the audience from winner’s podium at the SkillsUSA State Competition. Clark won first place in the Cosmetology category, and she will be joined by three of her Northeast Tech Pryor classmates who are also advancing to the SkillsUSA National Competition in June.
Thousands of CareerTech students from across Oklahoma converged in Tulsa last week for the SkillsUSA State Competition. At the end of the three-day event, 14 students from Northeast Tech’s Claremore Campus found themselves on the winner’s podium. Four students won from the Pryor campus.
“Being able to approach the stage and to stand in front of all of the other competitors was a huge relief, and it left me feeling proud of the work that we had put into preparing for the competition,” said Nathan Beck.
Beck, a student at Claremore High School, competed in the Technical Related Math category. This is just one of many competition categories available to students participating in SkillsUSA – a national student organization that offers training, career opportunities, scholarships and prizes through annual competitions. Depending on the program, students may compete at regional, state or national levels.
By winning state, Beck advances to the national competition in June, but he will not go alone. Also advancing to SkillsUSA Nationals are 10 of his classmates from Claremore. One of those students is Maria Collins, who along with teammates Riker Olari and Trey Thomas, placed first in Engineering Design Technology.
“Our competition involved creating an invention that solved a problem we had concerns about. Our team’s invention helps artists out by making paint brushes easier to clean,” said Collins. “At nationals I am most excited to see the other inventions that people have created.”
Seven other students from Northeast Tech’s Pre-Engineering Program also placed first in their competition category: Quiz Bowl. The Quiz Bowl is one of many SkillsUSA Leadership Development Contests, and the competition is designed to test students’ general academic knowledge, professional development and current events. Ryan Simmons, Tyler Boyer, Lane Edwards, Aiden Bainbridge, Jason Barnes, Nathan Beck and Bryce Goetz, all of Claremore, make up the winning Quiz Bowl team that advances to SkillsUSA Nationals.
Northeast Tech’s CNC Machining program also produced two first place winners: Mason Gibson of Inola and Craig Johnston of Vinita. Both won first in the CNC Milling Specialist Category, Gibson for the high school division and Johnston for the college division.
“I missed the awards ceremony because of a senior activity at my high school, so I didn’t believe anybody till they got back to school with the medals,” said Gibson.
Just down the hall from the CNC Machining shop at Northeast Tech is the Home Automation shop, and by placing first in the Mobile Electronics competition, Sequoyah native Taylor Farley will represent his program at SkillsUSA Nationals.
“I have to perform various tasks associated with installing after – market products in cars,” Farley said. “Hooking up stereo systems, soldering connections and troubleshooting are just a few of the skills that I am tested on.”
Also advancing to SkillsUSA Nationals is Abigail Clark of Sequoyah, who won first in the Cosmetology category. In this timed competition, Clark had to complete a short haircut and style, a long haircut and style, and a 90 degree cut.
“I am looking forward to competing again and making new connections with people from all over the country,” Clark said.
Nathaniel Moore of Claremore is enrolled in Northeast Tech’s Electrical Technology Program, and he competed as a team in the Robotics and Automation Technology category with Duwayne Lee from Langley. They placed first in their competition.
The SkillsUSA National Competition takes place June 19-23 in Louisville, Ky. The students and their instructors will travel to Louisville with all expenses paid, thanks to the support of the district’s Board of Education.
“Each year, the board takes action to provide funding for the students who place first at SkillsUSA State, earning the chance to represent the district and the state at the national competition,” said Northeast Tech Superintendent Fred Probis. “Our board realizes the importance of these competitions, not only for the skills and professional networking opportunities it brings to the students, but also because it expands their world a little bit.”
Probis went on to note that for many students who compete in nationals, it’s their first travel experience outside the state of Oklahoma.
“Traveling opens their eyes to the reality that the world is much bigger than they imagined, and it’s full of opportunity for those willing to work hard,” Probis said. “We are proud of each and every one of these students, and we wish them the best of luck at nationals.”
Teammates Maria Collins, Riker Olari and Trey Thomas, all students in Northeast Tech’s Pre-Engineering Program, took first in the Engineering Design Technology category at the SkillsUSA State Competition. The trio will be joined by 11 of their Northeast Tech Claremore classmates who are also advancing to the SkillsUSA National Competition.
About Northeast Technology Center
Northeast Technology Center’s campuses are located in Afton, Kansas, Pryor and Claremore. Through its full-time daytime classes, short-term evening classes, and its business and industry services and training, NTC serves well over 34,000 patrons per year. For more information on any of the classes or training programs available, visit NTC’s website at www.netech.edu or call (918) 825-7040.