SkillsUSA: North Point Sends 18 Students to Nationals

Jada Smith, Sports Editor

On March 26, the RAC arena at the University Maryland Baltimore County was packed with thousands of students from all over the state of Maryland, eagerly awaiting recognition for their hard work. Hours earlier, these same students, only identified by a number pinned on to their official SkillsUSA uniform during their respective competition, were now proudly screaming, “We Are North Point!”

“Last year we only sent eight students to nationals. This year we’re sending 18. That is a great accomplishment for this school,” stated STI Education Careers teacher, Mrs. Palmer.

Founded in 1966 and previously known as Vocational Industrial Clubs of America or VICA, SkillsUSA remains the first successful skills organization at a national level. Developed to start training the youth of America early in their future careers, SkillsUSA is a now national organization in which students develop their character, citizenship and leadership skills while taking part in competitions based on trade, industrial, health, and public service occupations. North Point is among 13,000 school chapters in the nation.

A few months earlier, North Point SkillsUSA members placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd. After competing at the Regional competitions, the competitiors made their way to the Maryland State Competition headquarters at Centered of Applied Technology North, in Severn, Maryland. From there, the competitors loaded on to shuttle buses that brought them to a number of schools, business’, and halls whose staff kindly opened their buildings to host the competitions.

Later that evening, Maryland competitors reunited once again at UMBC to be awarded and to share in the glorious history and true meaning of SkillsUSA. One by one the student’s names were called and they quick stepped their way down the metal steps and long aisles to proudly claim their gold, silver or bronze metal. One cry of victory stood out among the crowd. Awarded the gold medal for the Job Interview competition, Trinity Story (‘11) broke out in dance when she heard her name called over the microphone. “Out of all my competitors there was only one girl who was my real competition. I was really nervous because I knew we were really close,” she shared.

The SkillsUSA motto is “Preparing for leadership in the world of work.” In June, these students will not only fly to Kansas City, Missouri to take part in the National Leadership and Skills Conference to compete in the final SkillsUSA competitions, but they will also be taking part in a leadership and character building workshop, as well as other fun activities that allow them to get to know themselves and other Skills competitors.

Story was among 17 other North Point students who claimed first place in their competitions. The other students include:

Monica Hayden, Culinary Arts

Fatimah Thomas, Extemporaneous Speaking

Ashli Haggard, Health Knowledge Bowl

William Still, Health Knowledge Bowl

John Thomas, Health Knowledge Bowl

Kha-Ai Tran, Medical Math

Majesta Kitts,  Medical Terminology

Allison Wesolowski, Nurse Assisting

Erin Chapman, Nurse Assisting, Quiz Bowl

Alexander Corbin, Quiz Bowl

Gaston Lopez, Quiz Bowl

Alessia Parks, Quiz Bowl

Brianna Spangler, Quiz Bowl

Nicholas Telekey, Quiz Bowl

Margaret Campbell, TechPrep-Health Science

Diamante Parrish, TechPrep-Health Science

Julia Sutherland, TechPrep-Health Science