Seven Qualify for SkillsUSA nationals

May 3, 2017 by Anonymous

By Dennis Durband, NPC Marketing Staff Writer

Three Northland Pioneer College and four NAVIT students have advanced to the 53rd annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, set for Louisville, Kentucky, June 19-23. These outstanding students qualified with their strong performances at the Arizona SkillsUSA competition in Phoenix, April 18-19.

NPC/NAVIT Construction students at Arizona SkillsUSA competition.
NPC/NAVIT construction students at the Arizona SkillsUSA competition.
Photo courtesy of NPC Construction Technology instructor Ken Wilk

In all, 50 NPC and Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) programs competed at the state competition. Twenty-one of those students won a total of 25 medals. NAVIT students competed in the secondary division, and NPC students competed in the post-secondary division.

Gold medal-winning national qualifiers are: Jalen Brady of Winslow in the category of job interview post-secondary; Erika Slade of Eagar in job demo open; Tyler Nez of Holbrook in carpentry post-secondary; and the weld fabrication team of Colter Leslie (NAVIT) of St. Johns, Aaron Sherrill of Springerville and Nick Rodriguez of Vernon. Marcus Elliston (NPC/NAVIT) of Holbrook, won the silver in masonry, but advances to nationals because the gold medalist will not attend.

NPC/NAVIT silver medalists are: Brady in carpentry post-secondary; Lorenzo Yazzie of Winslow in cosmetology post-secondary; Lovina Anderson of St. Johns in job interview post-secondary; Monica Carrasco of Lakeside in job demo A; and Matt Meade of Show Low in automotive services post-secondary.

Bronze medal winners are: Nick Larson (NPC/NAVIT) of Taylor in automotive services post-secondary; Ben DeWitt (NPC/NAVIT) of Show Low in individual welding; Victor Cruz of Show Low in carpentry post-secondary; Carrasco in cosmetology post-secondary; Dustin Yazzie of Winslow in job interview post-secondary; the community service team of Kylie Peck of Taylor, Dylan Montejano of Snowflake and Gavin McInelly (NPC/NAVIT) of Show Low; and the quiz bowl post-secondary team of Valerie Hawkins of White River, Nez, Cruz, Galvert Ben of Keams Canyon and Darius Christensen of Show Low.

NPC contestants were especially strong in carpentry post-secondary competition, as Nez, Brady and Cruz swept all three medaIs, and in job interviewing skills as Brady, Anderson and Dustin Yazzie took all the medals.

NPC Dean of Career and Technical Education Peggy Belknap is impressed with the strong showing at state. “I am extremely pleased with all the Career and Technical Education faculty and students who participated in Arizona SkillsUSA” she said. “CTE students diligently prepared for these competitions and faculty members contributed vast amounts of personal time. To win 25 medals – six gold, six silver and 13 bronze -- supports my position that NPC has highly qualified faculty who instruct outstanding and relevant CTE programs. I am particularly proud of the college's inclusive win of first-, second- and third-place finishes in job interviewing and carpentry skills.”

Frank Pinnell, Welding Department chair and faculty who coordinates NPC's SkillsUSA activities, said this year's state results reflect an “over-the-top commitment from students competing in both action skills and leadership skills.”

State competition not only brought out the best in the NPC/NAVIT contestants, but also provided great networking opportunities for students. Many of the students in masonry, carpentry and welding received job offers from judges, and one masonry student received a written job opportunity on his projects.

Pinnell said, “Students are the driving backbone of our college and make the networking possible, showing how NPC is preparing students for excellence in the workforce.”

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