Saturday April 20, 2013

BENNINGTON -- Students from Southwest Vermont Career Development Center brought quite a few medals back with them from the SkillsUSA Conference and Skills Competition held in Burlington earlier this month.

Of the 19 CDC students who competed in the annual statewide competition that tests students’ career skills in various subjects, students concluded the April 3-4 competition bringing home 17 medals.

Of those, eight students received gold medals and the opportunity to compete at the national SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Competition held June 24-29 in Kansas City, Mo.

"CDC did well considering, especially, the number of students we had and the number of competitions. Most of what we competed in we met some kind of a medal," Kathy Slade, who teaches medical professions at the technical center in Bennington, told the school board last week.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

Vermont’s state competition draws students from all 17 technical centers. The gold medal winners from each state then compete alongside 5,600 high school students from across the country in the national competition. That competition includes 94 occupational and leadership skill areas.

All of the gold medal winners will be fundraising in order to pay for their trip to the 49th annual national competition.


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Vermont gold medal recipients from CDC include: Mariah Armstrong, James Mazzola, Michael Plaisance, and Krisma Patel in the Health Knowledge Bowl, which tests students’ medical knowledge; Zachariah Washburn in the promotional bulletin board category; Catarina Hulbert in the T-shirt design category; and Marisa Faller and Nicholas Pembroke for television/video production.

The CDC regularly sends students to the national competition and has fared very well in Kansas City in past years. Slade’s Health Knowledge team won national gold medals in 2011 and 2009.

Slade said Hulbert was the first CDC student to ever submit a T-shirt design, so to take gold was quite an accomplishment. The win means Hulbert’s design will be worn by students at next year’s competition. "She’s a very talented, talented artist," Slade said.

Also earning recognition from CDC were silver medalists Rachel Sandoval for consumer science; Greg Thompson for promotional bulletin board; and bronze medalists Trenton Endres for culinary arts; Amelia Cummings for first aid/CPR; Trenton Endres, Benjamin Gelheiser, James Mazzola, and Michael Plaisance for gorilla communications; and Benjamin Gelheiser for technical drafting.