Three Students Place First at SkillsUSA State Championships

Top finishers in Advertising Design, Preschool Teaching Assistant, Masonry

Three students from Dakota County Technical College, Kristin Vanevenhoven, Jessica Jackson and John Krause, brought home gold medals from the 44th Anniversary SkillsUSA Minnesota Leadership & Skills Championships Conference at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Bloomington, Minn., March 25–27, 2011. Vanevenhoven, a student in the Graphic Design Technology program, took first in Advertising Design. Jackson, a student in the Early Childhood and Youth Development program, took first in Preschool Teaching Assistant. Krause, a student in the Concrete and Masonry program, took first in Masonry. Vanevenhoven, Jackson and Krause will go on to compete at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo., June 19–25, 2011.

SkillsUSA serves more than 250,000 student members each year through more than 14,700 chapters in all 50 states as well as four state and territorial associations. SkillsUSA Minnesota has presented leadership opportunities to more than 200,000 student members since 1967. Current annual membership tops 3,000. SkillsUSA Minnesota chapters are located at 29 technical colleges and 50 high schools or cooperative centers throughout the state.

The SkillsUSA Minnesota Leadership & Skills Championships Conference takes place every spring. Around 350 business and industry leaders conduct almost 70 entry-level, hands-on skill contests based on industry-driven occupational standards. Business and industry donates thousands of dollars in scholarships, tools, reference manuals and training aids for the contest winners and their participating colleges and high schools. Businesses often hire new employees directly off the competition floor.

The Winners

Kristin Vanevenhoven

Kristin Vanevenhoven | First Place| Advertising Design

A student ambassador and senator at DCTC, Kristin Vanevenhoven, 24, has a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Science Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She is on track to graduate from DCTC with an A.A.S. degree in Graphic Design Technology in spring 2012. A native of De Pere, Wis., Vanevenhoven looks forward to a career as a graphic design teacher.

Jessica Jackson

Jessica Jackson | First Place | Preschool Teaching Assistant

Jessica Jackson, 27, works at the Veterans Resource Center. She served during the Iraq War as a U.S. Army sergeant and supply specialist with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky. A native of Florence, S.C., Jackson plans to graduate from the Early Childhood and Youth Development program in Spring 2012. For more info on the Preschool Teaching Assistant competition, read “SkillsUSA State Championship Update” on the Early Childhood and Youth Development blog.

John Krause

John Krause | First Place | Masonry

A student in the Concrete and Masonry program with plans to graduate spring 2011, John Krause, 19, graduated from Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School in 2010. After graduating from DCTC, Krause has plans to join the family business, Krause Masonry, Inc.

Six other DCTC students did well at the state championships, including:
Alicia Moss

Alicia Moss

  • Age: 24 | Hometown: Northfield, Minn.
  • Early Childhood and Youth Development
  • Second Place in Preschool Teaching Assistant
Samantha Hrbek

Samantha Hrbek

  • Age: 25 | Hometown: Rosemount, Minn.
  • Individualized Studies
  • Third Place in Prepared Speech
  • Third Place in Extemporaneous Speaking
Tracy Wirkus

Tracy Wirkus

  • Age: 24 | Hometown: Eagan, Minn.
  • Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology
  • Third Place in Technical Related Math
Jordan Schopper

Jordan Schopper

  • Age: 29 | Hometown: Cottage Grove, Minn.
  • Multimedia and Web Design
  • Third Place in Advertising Design
Anthony Atchison

Anthony Atchison

  • Age: 20 | Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
  • Honorable Mention in Automotive Service Tech
Jacob Gish

Jacob Gish

  • Age: 20 | Hometown: Mankato, Minn.
  • Electrical Construction and Maintenance Technology
  • Honorable Mention in Residential Wiring

To learn more about SkillsUSA Minnesota at DCTC, contact:
  • Mike Opp
    SkillsUSA Minnesota Advisor
Or follow the links below: