SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners honored local students last week for their success at a national SkillsUSA competition.
The commissioners recognized Worcester Technical High School’s SkillsUSA students with a commendation at last week’s meeting.
“Thank you for putting in the effort, for putting in the time,” said Commissioner Diana Purnell. “We appreciate that because you’re our investment, you’re our greatest investment.”
Students traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, in June to compete in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. While there, numerous students earned top-10 finishes in various trade skills competitions. In addition, for the second year in a row Worcester Technical High School received the SkillsUSA Chapter of Excellence National Gold Award.
“Worcester County’s got great kids,” said Rick Stephens, Worcester Tech’s SkillsUSA advisor. “We really do. I’m very proud of them.”
Students honored included Kaleb Schmucki and Maggie Kemp (Mobile Robotic Technology), Helen Odenwald, Anastacia Elbert, Mia Dill and Jessica Wynne (Career Pathways-Human Services), Makayla Zajdel, Sierra Payne and Danielle Munn (Career Pathways-Health Services), DJ Taylor, Harley Elsner and Zach Moats (Occupational Health and Safety), Rebecca Staines, Chase Farlow and Daniel Outten (Team Engineering Challenge-Middle School), Shea Griffin (Related Technical Math), Eric Taylor (Building Maintenance) and Deshawn Collick and Adam Taylor (Community Action Project).
Stephens said 21 Worcester Tech students competed in the Kentucky competition and 18 of them finished in the top 10.
“We’re very very proud of them,” he said. He added that the student success came through the support of the entire Worcester Tech staff. “I’ve got a lot of people that really help out.”
At last Tuesday’s meeting Principal Tom Zimmer also shared the news that Worcester Technical High School’s welding program would be the recipient of $8,000 worth of prizes through a nationwide competition hosted by the tool company Channellock. Worcester Tech’s submission video received the most votes in an online contest.
“We had people voting from everywhere,” Stephens said. “We’re very proud of it.”
Through the contest, the school is set to receive a cash prize, new tools and a welding classroom makeover from Channellock. The prizes are expected to allow more students to enroll in welding, which in its fourth year is already one of the school’s most demanded programs.