SPSCC students bring back SkillsUSA gold, silver, bronze

Monday, May 16, 2016
*Fourth year in a row SPSCC students won medals

For the fourth consecutive year, South Puget Sound Community College students distinguished themselves by bringing home medals at the SkillsUSA Washington Leadership and Skills Conference. SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, and for advanced education.

Four SPSCC students competed at the spring conference of the SkillsUSA Washington chapter on March 31-April 2 in Tacoma. SPSCC was led by student Ian Beard, who took gold honors in First Aid-CPR and silver in Related Technical Math.

From left: SPSCC SkillsUSA Washington participants Alanna Young, Andy Masteller, Jesus Cales-Rodriguez, and Ian Beard.

Second-year student Jesus Cales-Rodriguez took silver in Automotive Service Technology, his second consecutive year of earning hardware after claiming gold honors in both Automotive Skills and in Related Technical Math a year ago.

Student Allana Young also brought home hardware, claiming a bronze in Related Technical Math, while placing fourth in the Prepared Speech competition. Also competing was student Andy Masteller, who also placed fourth in the Job Demonstration category.

"All of our students did an outstanding job," advisor Alex Wittmann said. "This was our fourth year competing and we have improved every time. Our students are going to the competition better prepared and more confident."

SPSCC advisors Wittman, Steve McRavin, and Bryan Powell attended the conference with the students, and were proud of the technical and leadership skills displayed. 

"I enjoy watching students learn and grow from this experience," Wittmann, also an Automotive Technology professor at SPSCC, said. "The SkillsUSA organization is very well established and has been teaching students about professionalism in a work environment since 1965. Every student who has competed for SPSCC has returned from the competition with a better understanding of what it means to be professional in a work setting."

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure a skilled American workforce. More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 18,000 sections and 53 state and territorial associations. SkillsUSA has served more than 11.9 million members since its founding in 1965.