Three DCTC Students Break Top 10 at SkillsUSA Championships

Represented Minnesota in Advertising Design, Preschool Teaching Assistant, Masonry

Three students from Dakota County Technical College, Kristin Vanevenhoven, Jessica Jackson and John Krause, were top-10 finishers at the SkillsUSA Championships June 22 and 23, 2011, during the 47th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The DCTC students were part of the Minnesota SkillsUSA delegation that joined more than 15,000 students, teachers and representatives from some 1,100 corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions from across the nation. The SkillsUSA Championships featured 94 hands-on skill and leadership competitions with more than 5,700 participants. The National Leadership and Skills Conference was held at a number of locations in Kansas City, including the Municipal Auditorium, Kemper Arena, H. Roe Bartle Hall, Marriott Downtown and Hyatt Regency Crown Center.

From the official SkillsUSA Minnesota media release courtesy of Jennifer Polz, state executive director:

“SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. It sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence and pride in their chosen occupations. SkillsUSA organizes this event, and it is considered the single greatest day of industry volunteerism in America every year at an estimated cost of more than $35 million. Each SkillsUSA Championships contestant is a state-level gold medalist.

The contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry-level performance in given occupational fields. Safety practices and procedures -an area of great concern to labor and management alike -are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score.

The Minnesota Delegation of over 200 students, advisors, voting delegates and national education team members were on hand for the weeklong event. Special congratulations to the entire Minnesota Delegation for such a great showing in medal count, bringing home 25 medallion winners in both college and high divisions in twenty-one different leadership/skilled areas. 70 students also earned finalist in the Minnesota Delegation.”

The DCTC Winners at SkillsUSA Championships

Jessica Jackson

Jessica Jackson | Fourth 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 information about Jackson’s performance at the state-level Preschool Teaching Assistant competition, read “SkillsUSA State Championship Update” on the Early Childhood and Youth Development blog.

John Krause

John Krause | Fourth 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.

Kristin Vanevenhoven

Kristin Vanevenhoven | Sixth 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.

To learn more about SkillsUSA Minnesota at DCTC, contact:
  • Mike Opp
    Dean of Transportation and Technical Careers
    SkillsUSA Minnesota Advisor
Or follow the links below:


  • Jill Behnke says:

    Jessica is a fantastic student! Congratulations on her high achievement! We are so proud that she could represent DCTC and the Early Childhood and Youth Development program.

  • Dawn Braa says:

    Jessica and Kristin,
    What an amazing experience we had! I am so proud of you both for all your hard work, professionalism, and dedication to your field of study and the competition. Congrats on your high placement!
    You did excellent as well- be proud of your accomplishment!

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