Close to 30 high schools representing the SkillsUSA Region 1 counties of the northwest Georgia area competed in 25 skill-based competitions on Friday, Dec. 6, spread throughout the Walker County Campus (WCC) with the winners headed to the statewide competition in the spring.

“Think of a science fair for technical students mixed with leadership skills, that is a SkillsUSA competition,” Melissa McLain, GNTC graduation specialist and SkillsUSA advisor said. “These students are learning what they need to do before they get into the workforce.”

According to McLain, there were over 400 students and observers on the WCC on Friday getting acquainted with the college as well as future employment opportunities. While the skills learned through competing may benefit future employers, the main purpose of the events was to give students a taste of what is to come.

“It gives them an eye opening experience for what they can do after high school,” McLain said.

While soft skill competitions like speech and interviewing happened inside, the masonry and carpentry competitions were taking place under the awnings of the 300 building. According to Donny Holmes, GNTC program director and instructor of Construction Management, students were given two and a half hours to complete their challenge and were scored on mathematical accuracy as well as other factors. Competitors in the carpentry contest were given a small platform on which they had to build a wall frame with a window and stairs with a railing. 

The students had to follow the blueprints provided to them by the judges while using lumber and hardware donated by Cedartown’s Duffy Construction Company. Chesley Chambers, Region 1 SkillsUSA co-chair, said the businesses and industries in the northwest Georgia region are very supportive of the competition since it helps students prepare to enter into the workforce.

“SkillsUSA shows the industry what these students can do,” he said. “As a result, they want to hire them.”

While there were plenty of industrial events involving physical labor such as plumbing and electrical construction wiring, the contest also featured soft skill competitions. Deasia Harris, a North Whitfield High School student, interviewed for a fictional position with a panel of judges composed of GNTC staff who gave her feedback on the meeting.

Harris told Lisa Pearson, Student Success assistant, Georgina Valderrama, secretary for Academic Affairs, and Michelle Sevy, Associate Degree Nursing instructor, about her aspirations to join the army and have the military pay for her medical school.

The following students placed in the Region 1 SkillsUSA competition. The top two from each category, except Automotive Service Technology, will advance to the state competition in Atlanta on March 12-14. The Automotive Service Technology category takes the top three students and is the only category to do so.

Advertising Design:

Etta McDaniel, 1st Place, Calhoun High School

John Washington, 2nd Place, Creekview High School

Architectural Drafting:

Drew Spencer, 1st Place, Heritage High School

David Castillo, 2nd Place, Sequoyah High School

Automotive Refinishing Technology:

Hunter Forsyth, 1st Place, Cedartown High School

Automotive Service Technology:

Peyton Parker, 1st Place, Gordon Central High School

Vincent Perna, 2nd Place, Cherokee High School

Logan Pulliam, 3rd Place, Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy

Cabinet Making:

Banks Hathcox, 1st Place, Calhoun High School

Chase Gresham, 2nd Place, Pepperell High School

Xander Cook, 3rd Place, Chattooga High School

Carpentry:

Ty Veatch, 1st Place, Chattooga High School

Jonathan Pearson, 2nd Place, Model High School

Michael Cummings, 3rd Place, Adairsville High School

Collision Repair Technology:

Austin Ledbetter, 1st Place, Cherokee High School

Rodney Williams, 2nd Place, Cedartown High School

Cosmetology:

Macy Tucker, 1st Place, North Murray High School

Kate Faulk, 2nd Place, Bartow County College and Career Academy

Rossy Cruz, 3rd Place, Cedartown High School

CPR & First Aid:

Ansley Wynn, 1st Place, Rockmart High School

Sarah Maloney, 2nd Place, Cherokee High School

Ethan Lester, 3rd Place, Cedartown High School

Early Childhood Education:

Jada McGill, 1st Place, Model High School

Susana Quinones Villarrel, 2nd Place, Coosa High School

Hailey Gallman, 3rd Place, Murray County High School

Electrical Construction Wiring:

Cody McNeese, 1st Place, Gordon Central High School

Freddie Vargas, 2nd Place, Coosa High School

Gordon Hayden, 3rd Place, Model High School

Esthetics:

Reagan Brown, 1st Place, North Murray High School

Sandra Daniell, 2nd Place, Cedartown High School

Arian Garrett, 3rd Place, Cass High School

Extemporaneous Speaking:

Helana Garland, 1st Place, Gilmer High School

Sasha Melbourne, 2nd Place, Cherokee High School

Chance Potter, 3rd Place, Model High School

Graphic Communications:

Kala Bartley, 1st Place, Model High School

Chassidy Wright, 2nd Place, Coosa High School

Job Interview

Lincoln Puryear, 1st Place, Murray County High School

Frida Nieto, 2nd Place, Gilmer High School

Gabe Sisson, 3rd Place, Gordon Central High School

Job Skill Demonstration:

Emily Whatley, 1st Place, North Murray High School

Madison Whatley, 2nd Place, Cedartown High School

Nicholas McGill, 3rd Place, Calhoun High School

Job Skill Demonstration Open:

Madeline Skojac, 1st Place, North Murray High School

Aden Edwards, 2nd Place, Armuchee High School

Jacob Black, 3rd Place, Calhoun High School

Masonry:

Kevin Fraire, 1st Place, Gordon Central High School

Damien West, 2nd Place, Cass High School

Dustin King, 3rd Place, Chattooga High School

Plumbing:

Oliver Nolasco, 1st Place, Rockmart High School

Hunter Blackmon, 2nd Place, Adairsville High School

Brad Stone, 3rd Place, Calhoun High School

Prepared Speech:

Jessica Copez, 1st Place, Gordon Central High School

Michael Pastovich, 2nd Place, Model High School

Seth Wright, 3rd Place, Cedartown High School

Pin Design:

Carol Haynes, 1st Place, Heritage High School

Sisly Mann, 2nd Place, North Murray High School

Stephanie Flanery, 3rd Place, Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy

Quiz Bowl Team:

Cherokee High School, 1st Place

Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy, 2nd Place

Calhoun High School, 3rd Place

Technical Drafting:

Matthew Funderburk, 1st Place, Heritage High School

Nathan Fricks, 2nd Place, Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School

Will Summey, 3rd Place, Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy

Tshirt Design:

Kathryn Brook, 1st Place, Calhoun High School

Corissa Pritchett, 2nd Place, Heritage High School

Jasmine Collier, 3rd Place, Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy

Welding:

Jacob Vinson, 1st Place, Model High School

Sage Owings, 2nd Place, Chattooga High School

Andrew Harrell, 3rd Place, Rome High School

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution