SkillsUSA: Champions at Work and School

Stephanie Agbe-Davies, Staff Writer

      On March 26th and 27th, many North Point students competed in the SkillsUSA State Competition in Baltimore.
 On Saturday, most participants woke up at four o’clock in the morning, in order to make it to North Point High School by 5:30 am. There, the students would depart to Baltimore, and begin their venture. It was a tiring day, and several participants did not return home until 11:00 pm that night.

      The participants were shuttled to the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus to partake in the awards ceremony. More than eighteen North Point High School students received medals. For some students, the long journey of training for the state competition proved to be victorious. First place winners qualify to attend the National SkillsUSA Conference.

      First place winners include: Matthew Lorman, Culinary Arts; Trinity Story, Job Interview; Davia Low, Cosmetology; Kenerjay Bennett, Quiz Bowl; Erin Chapman, Quiz Bowl; Karen Eaton, Quiz Bowl; Ryan Friedrich, Quiz Bowl; Gaston Lopez, Quiz Bowl; Thomas Keim, Quiz Bowl; Nicholas Teleky, Quiz Bowl; Thomas Belle, Industrial Motor Control.

     Second place winners are the following: William Bowie, Automotive Refinishing Technology; William Tomlinson, Culinary Arts; Alina Zayas, Pre-School Teaching; Jeremy Yoho, Welding Fabrication; Tony Garner; Welding Fabrication; Steve Joyner; Welding Fabrication.

      Third place winners include: Chris Chamblee, Criminal Justice; Moriah Rochlinski, Pin Design; Noel Barnwell, Health Knowledge Bowl; Ashli Haggard, Health Knowledge Bowl; Will Still, Health Knowledge Bowl, John Thomas, Health Knowledge Bowl. Other winners from North Point include: Mrs. Jones, SkillsUSA Maryland Skills Advisor; Jasmine White, SkillsUSA Reporter; Laura Waselewski, National Voting Delegate.

      Trinity Story (’11) thinks well of her time in SkillsUSA. “My experience in SkillsUSA is definitely a good one. I never thought I’d actually win first place and go on to nationals. It’s great exposure, and with SkillsUSA there are so many great opportunities.” She reacted strongly to placing first in her competition. “I was so shocked, everyone from my school was cheering when they heard my name and was [very] supportive—it was a great feeling.”

      Ashli Haggard (’11) states, “The competition was intense, so when we found out we were getting a medal, it was like a huge weight was lifted. We didn’t expect to do so well our first time, and we were really proud.” In regards to her experience at SkillsUSA, Haggard explains, “I found the Health Knowledge Bowl rewarding because I felt like my hard work was paying off. We spend all year in health occupations learning this stuff first-hand, and the SkillsUSA competition just gave me a chance to showcase everything I’ve worked toward and everything Mrs. Bodamer taught us.”

      It was an emotional moment for Matt Lorman (’10), when he found out that he had won first place in the Culinary Arts competition. “Once I found out I won, I started jumping up and down uncontrollably. I was so excited I almost peed [in] my pants!” says Lorman. Throughout the years, Lorman has been able to develop his culinary skills with the help of SkillsUSA. Lorman mentioned,” SkillsUSA has helped me develop not only in my trade (Culinary Arts) but also in leadership. Through SkillsUSA I have [lost] my fear of public speaking and [have become] a better communicator. Through the competitions, I have gained valuable experience in culinary arts.” Lorman is also the president of the SkillsUSA chapter at North Point High School. “My experience through SkillsUSA has been great…I have been competing since sophomore year. I have been to regional, state, and national [competitions] and I witnessed first-hand what SkillsUSA can do for high school students.”

      Davia Low (’10) received first place in cosmetology. In regards to her experience in SkillsUSA, she mentions, “My experience has been very beneficial. Not only did [SkillsUSA] help tremendously in passing my state board test, it is also [preparing] me for the future. Even though I lost last year I was able to comfortably compete and win this year. Hopefully the same will happen in future competitions.”

     Katie Doran (’12) expressed nervousness for the competition. “[I] didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never [competed] before.” Doran plans to compete again for the upcoming school year, however, she states, “probably in a different category.”
    Maekala Bryant (’12), a Health Occupations sophomore, competed in Medical Terminology. Unfortunately, Bryant did not place for her category. “I think I did well this year considering it was my first year. Even though I did not place, it was still a good experience. My goal for next year is to get first place in order to go to nationals,” states Bryant.

     Now North Point students will start to prepare for the National SkillsUSA Competition. The conference will be held in Kansas City from June 20- June 25, 2010. Good luck to all North Point students who qualify and congratulations to all who have received a medal from the SkillsUSA State Conference.