SOUTHEASTERN STUDENTS ADVANCE TO THE STATE-LEVEL ROUND OF SKILLSUSA
Despite COVID-19 setbacks in the past year, Southeastern students advanced to the State-Level Round of SkillsUSA.
The yearly district-level competition of SkillsUSA is always an exciting time at Southeastern for the community, the advisors, and everyone involved. In a typical year, the gymnasium is usually packed with close to a thousand students from a multitude of schools across the 2nd District of SkillsUSA. The opening ceremony takes place, and every school participating cheers their students on. After that, the testing occurs and the spirit of Southeastern fills the air. In the evening, an awards ceremony is held, and it is announced which students won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Together, the Southeastern community celebrates the achievements of many, and, in the words of Ms. Maguire, who is on the SkillsUSA Board of Directors and part of the Leadership Team that works with the state officers, “just the comradery of being One Southeastern…was really exciting.” Of course, due to COVID-19 this year, everything was different.
Last year, the state and national conferences were cancelled due to the pandemic after the district competition had taken place. Thankfully, this year they are scheduled to take place, and notwithstanding the challenges that COVID-19 posed, the district competition took place as well, though this year it was done virtually. At 8:00 in the morning on Thursday, February 25, the close-to-200 students that qualified for the district level competition logged on to a Zoom call, where they were greeted by their SkillsUSA advisors. There, they answered any last-minute questions people may have had, and then proceeded to play the opening ceremony. “The Opening Ceremony was recorded for us to play the morning of the competition. The state officers did a great job, I’ll say it was fabulous,” quoted Ms. Maguire, “[It was] exactly what it looks like in real life, so I think that was great because they took the time to record it ahead of time and send it to us for us to use with our own students as part of our virtual opening ceremony.” After the opening ceremony, Ms. Weckesser joined the Zoom call and wished all the participants good luck. After all the advisors had wished the students good luck, they proceeded to take their tests. The tests consisted of 125 questions: 50 regarding SkillsUSA, 25 regarding Safety and OSHA standards, and the last 50 were the vocational-specific questions.
Though the District Competition was completed remotely, Ms. Maguire noted some of the advantages that the remote SkillsUSA District Competition had, “I think that one of the pluses to this approach was that it wasn’t as confusing in some regards because everybody was at home, and we didn’t have to worry about kids being here on time. We didn’t have to worry about people being in uniform. Some of the things that we ordinarily had to be concerned about when it’s in person, we didn’t have to really worry about it remotely this year.”
Southeastern is a 100% chapter, meaning that all of the students from Southeastern participated in SkillsUSA, and 200 of them advanced to the district-level competition. Ms. Maguire said, “We’re a very big school compared to other vocational schools; one of the biggest in the state. And, we always do well with our SkillsUSA chapter. We have a history of having national officers, we have a history of many, many years of state officers. We have many medal winners, including state and national gold medal winners.” Because of this, it comes as no surprise that there were a great number of bronze, silver, and gold medalists from Southeastern who advanced to the State-level competitions.
The Districts completed their tests on different days, so it took a while before the results could be received. Nevertheless, one week after the competition, on Thursday, March 4 the results were posted, and the winners of SkillsUSA were announced.
The gold medalists for Southeastern are: Adario Headley (Brockton) & Damian Lewberg (Norton) for Audio/Radio Production; Alexandra McCourt (Mansfield) for Basic Healthcare; Naomie Perrier (Brockton) for Cosmetology (over 500); Montserrat De La Cruz Olivares (Easton) for Customer Service; Skylar Pires (Brockton) for Dental Assisting; Fanny Mizhirumbay (Brockton) & Alyssa Monteiro (Brockton) for Digital Cinema Production; Eric Bruno (Stoughton) for Electronics Technology; Morgan McCarthy (Stoughton) for Esthetics; Anabel Ma (Brockton) for Graphic Imaging Sublimation; Josephine Sheaff (Norton) for Marine Service Technology; Ava Robinson (Brockton) for Medical Terminology; Alexis Flanagan (Brockton) for Photography; William Messana (Easton) for Power Equipment Technology; and Southeastern Regional as a school for Teamworks.
The silver medalists for Southeastern are: Erik Briggs (Norton) for Automotive Service Technology; Michael Holmes (West Bridgewater) for Cabinetmaking; Liam Harvey (Foxborough) for Computer Programming; Dillon Schillberg (Norton) for Diesel Equipment Technology; Kaileigh Reis (Brockton) & Olivia Silva (Norton) for Digital Cinema Production; Ronald Klayman (Mansfield) for Marine Service Technology; Cara Childs (Norton) for Medical Assistant; Allyson Butler (Foxborough) for Medical Terminology; Mekayla Montrond-Andrade (Brockton) for Nail Care; and Stephen Thomsen (Mansfield) for Power Equipment Technology.
The bronze medalists for Southeastern are: Damontae Yassen (Brockton) for Advertising & Design; Terri Loftus (Mansfield) & Maxwell Loew (Stoughton) for Audio & Radio Production; Ariella Taylor (Brockton) for Basic Healthcare; Kayla Stappen (Brockton) for CNC Technician; Katie Pierce (Mansfield) for Commercial Baking; David Gutierrez (Brockton) for Cosmetology (under 500); Lihlani Villafane (Brockton) for Criminal Justice; Evan Greene (Easton) for Diesel Equipment Technology; Luis Rodriguez Pena (Brockton) & Hailey Earle (Easton) for Digital Cinema Production; Cailey McAvoy (Brockton) for Early Childhood; Zakee Qureshi (Mansfield) for Electrical Construction Wiring; Tatiana Gomes (Brockton) for Electronics Technology; Sophia Theodorides (Stoughton) for First Aid & CPR; Jason Nguyen (Brockton) for Medical Math; Aiyana Gomes-Brady (Brockton) for Nail Care; Delilah Parma (Brockton) for Photography; Matthew Farrington (Mansfield) for Plumbing; and Nathan Sandstrum (Easton) for Power Equipment Technology.
The 2021 State SkillsUSA Championships–Career Competitions take place on April 11.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle-school, high-school and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service (including health) occupations. Read more at: https://www.skillsusa.org/about/
At Southeastern, students choose from 20 career majors in preparation for life’s challenges and opportunities. Our school combines a rigorous academic curriculum with state of the art vocational and technical studies to help students realize their full learning potential. The schedule is designed to have students alternate between academic and technical coursework. This process promotes the integration of studies and helps bridge the gap between theoretical and practical experience. The hands-on approach to learning helps connect students to education and provides the basis for life-long learning–an essential skill in today’s highly competitive global market. Upon graduation, students have the choice of furthering their education in any two or four-year institution or going directly into the workforce.
The Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School District consists of a four-year public high school and a post-secondary technical institute. The high school offers twenty career majors to students from Brockton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, Stoughton and West Bridgewater.
Ms. Maguire, Director of Career Pathways at Southeastern, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The SkillsUSA advisors for Southeastern can be reached at email@example.com
To learn more about Southeastern, please visit: https://www.sersd.org/
Written by André Arzeno, Legal & Protective Services, Brockton