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TSTC in Waco Students Await Golden Opportunities in Kentucky

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College in Waco students received gold medals in 20 events during the SkillsUSA Texas Student Leadership and Skills Conference held earlier this month on campus.

The gold medalists qualify for the national SkillsUSA Student Leadership and Skills Conference in June in Louisville, Kentucky. SkillsUSA is a professional organization teaching technical, academic and employability skills that help college students pursue successful careers. Members build these skills through student-led team meetings, contests, leadership conferences and other activities.

TSTC in Waco’s Interactive Application and Video Game Creation team of Charlene Knox, 42, of Austin and Amy Bartlett, 23, of Lorena did not have competition in the state contest because they were the only group entered. Bartlett also placed first in Pin Design.

“Charlene made me do it and said I would sign up for SkillsUSA,” Bartlett said.

The women will continue working on a project to demonstrate and explain at the conference. The students will work on the project after spring semester finals are completed this month.

Some students are already familiar with the national conference.

Larry Johnson, 20, of Mount Pleasant will make his second consecutive trip to Kentucky to compete nationally. He received a gold medal in the state Carpentry contest and had to build a small-scale mock-up of a gable end wall with rafters and a window opening. The project had to be completed in less than seven hours.

“I was ecstatic when my name was called,” said Johnson, a 2015 graduate of Mount Pleasant High School. “It was close.”

Josh Alexander, 22, of Waco will return to the national contest to compete in Computer Programming. In 2015 he traveled to Kentucky as part of the Quiz Bowl team.

“I am studying computer programming and have gotten better and was up for the challenge this year,” he said.

Alicia Rivera, 41, of Waco and originally from Puerto Rico won gold for the second year in a row in Commercial Baking. Her state contest involved baking a yeast bread, making pastries, preparing a pie shell and decorating a pre-made cake with precision and detail.

“For the national competition in Commercial Baking, you know what you need to do because we receive the measurements ahead of time,” Rivera said. “I will practice at least twice a week.”

Other students who won gold medals were: 3D Visualization and Animation: Kayleigh Ekwall and Jeremiah Stones; Architectural Drafting: Jordan Linder; Automotive Refinishing: Teresa Hovath;  Collision Repair Technology: Richard Moran; Electrical Construction Wiring: Abraham Perez; Extemporaneous Speaking: Nelson Baldwin; Information Technology Services: Juan Gongora; Photography: Ray Ross; Plumbing: Edgar Hernandez; Quiz Bowl: Christopher Dunn, James Pearson, Cameron Burt, Robert White, Louis Garcia, Pete Baus and Justin Tucker; Restaurant Services: Logan Moore; Residential Systems and Maintenance: Marcus Crespin; TeamWorks: Edgar Cuellar, William Chance, Matthew Peeler and Jose Perez; Telecommunications Cabling: Dax Edmiston; Web Design: Alex Barron and Shelby Mauger.

Overall, TSTC in Waco students received more than 50 gold, silver and bronze medals in 30 events.

For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.

Written by Daniel Perry on April 7, 2017
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