Students Dominate SkillsUSA Championships

Published on: November 9, 2012

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Six take home gold; five finish in top 10

Students from Dakota County Technical College placed in the top 10 of eight competitions at the 48th National SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo., June 23–27, 2012.

Samantha Hrbek, Michael Doyle, Ben Jackson, Joyce Ludwig

Samantha Hrbek, Michael Doyle, Ben Jackson, Joyce Ludwig

During the closing award ceremony on Thursday, June 27, individuals and teams placing in the top three of their competitions were invited to take the stage and receive their medals. With more than 5600 high school and college students competing in 94 occupational and leadership competitions, Team DCTC was fortunate enough to bring home three national championships (gold), a silver and a bronze.

“The SkillsUSA competition is tangible evidence of the quality of the education and training our students are receiving,” said DCTC President Ron Thomas. “I knew we had an incredible team of students participating in this competition, but the results exceeded all my expectations. I could not be more proud of our students and their advisors.”

Lorelei Rein

Lorelei Rein

DCTC’s night at the awards ceremony kicked off with student Alex Just earning a bronze medal in the Photography competition. Moments later, students Ben Jackson, Michael Doyle, Samantha Hrbek and Joyce Ludwig had their moment of jubilation when they were announced gold medalists in the team Entrepreneurship competition.

That would not be DCTC’s only national championship from the SkillsUSA competition, though. Seth Hagan and Lorelei Rein both became gold medalists in their respective divisions of Industrial Motor Control and Preschool Teaching Assistant.

The ceremony was rounded out with Kristin Vanevenhoven bringing home a silver medal in Pin Design—an effort for which Vanevenhoven had already gained fame for since the SkillsUSA pin representing Minnesota at the conference was her design.

Kristin Vanevenhoven

Kristin Vanevenhoven

The evening wasn’t over just yet, though. In addition to the top three finishes, DCTC students also placed in the top 10 in three other categories. Hilary Sharp earned a fifth place finish in Computer Programming; Jeff Siltala-Choban took fifth in Advertising Design; and Stephanie Serres placed eighth in Job Interview. And although Aaron Zimdars, didn’t place in the top 10, he put in a stellar performance in Automotive Service Technology—one of the toughest competitions at SkillsUSA.

Congratulations to our students and a huge thanks to the advisors who accompanied and supported the team at the competition: Mike Buck, Mike Opp, Ron Gruenes, Dawn Braa, Christine Pigsley, Darrell Tangen, Mark Hickman and Anna Voight.

About SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA @DCTCSkillsUSA is a national organization that serves trade, industrial, technical, and health occupations, as well as, students in public high schools, career and technical centers and schools, and two-year colleges. SkillsUSA has more than 320,000 student members annually, organized at more than 3,600 schools and in 54 state and territorial associations (including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands). Since 1965, SkillsUSA has served more than 10.5 million members.

SkillsUSA @DCTCCurrently, more than 16,500 teachers and school administrators serve as professional SkillsUSA members and instructors. More than 1,100 business, industry, and labor sponsors actively support SkillsUSA at the national level through financial aid, in-kind contributions, and involvement of their people in SkillsUSA activities. Many more work directly with state associations and local chapters.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps each student to excel. SkillsUSA is an applied method for preparing America’s high performance workers in public career and technical programs. It provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development. It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes and communication skills. The association emphasizes total quality at work, high ethical standards, superior work skills, life-long education and pride in the dignity of work. SkillsUSA also promotes understanding of the free enterprise system and involvement in community service activities.

SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference Gallery

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Video of the Awards Ceremony, June 27, 2012:
For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota at DCTC, contact:
  • Mike Opp
    Dean of Transportation Careers and Technical Careers
    SkillsUSA Minnesota Advisor
    651-423-8232
  • Anna Voight
    Assistant Director of Student Life
    SkillsUSA Minnesota Advisor
    651-423-8649

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