Area students excel at Skills USA

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Breanne Thompson, left, and Lauren Veal, both students at Central Educational Center, represent Coweta County at the 2014 SkillsUSA Championships. 


Students from Coweta County and the local area competed in the SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City from June 23-27.

Central Educational Center students Breanne Thompson and Lauren Veal represented Coweta County. Thompson, a CEC student from Northgate High, won first place in graphics communications at the state competition.

Veal, a CEC student from Newnan High, placed first in early childhood education at this year’s SkillsUSA Georgia competitions. Their top ratings in the state contest qualified them to go to Kansas City.

Cynthia LeMons, a student at West Georgia Technical College, LaGrange campus, was awarded the gold in employment application process. “I didn’t achieve gold. I was just the proxy for my educational institution,” LeMons said.

“Together, with the help and advice of my instructors and advisors, and the love and support of my family, my friends, and God, we achieved gold,” she said. Several dual-enrolled high school students from the service area also represented West Georgia Technical College – which has a campus in Coweta County and offers classes at CEC – in the national competition.

Peachtree City resident Nicole Schwensen was awarded the high school bronze medal in pin design at the national level. Thompson won a skill point certificate in graphic communications, and Alanna Timmins of Peachtree City was awarded a skill point certificate in T-shirt design.

Schwensen and Timmins are students at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City. Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Participants also can earn points to received a skill point certificate.

Another competitor in Kansas City was Zack Hosseini, who had won first place in the Georgia digital cinema production for “Eviction Notice.” Hosseini lives in Alpharetta and is a student at Centennial High School.

Hosseini placed sixth in the national competition. His grandparents, Ed and Louise Nelson, live in Lone Oak.

The Kansas City competition was part of the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students. Quality career and technical education were the centerpiece of the conference.

More than 15,000 students, teachers, education leaders and representatives from more than 600 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions took part, according to Thomas W. Holdsworth of SkillsUSA. The annual SkillsUSA Championships were June 25-26 with 99 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.

"Over 6,000 students from every state in the nation came to compete in the SkillsUSA Championships," said Tim Lawrence, SkillsUSA executive director . “This is the SkillsUSA partnership at its best. Students, instructors and industry representatives are working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce and every student excels.”

Lawrence said the students competing in Kansas City “prove that career and technical education expands opportunities."

Veal and Thompson were among 1,876 competitors from 168 chapters across Georgia to compete in this year’s SkillsUSA 2014 Georgia event, held at the Georgia International Convention Center and Gateway Marriott Hotel in Atlanta on March 13-15. They were among 10 students from Central Educational Center who competed in the state SkillsUSA contests.

The others were – William Shellnutt, Newnan High, welding; Busby Mitchell, Newnan High, technical drafting; Camp Coker, Newnan High, aviation; Elijah Caldwell, Northgate High, aviation; Brandon Johnson, Newnan High, aviation; Lucas Head, Northgate High, aviation; Tony Lawrence, Newnan High, aviation; and Nikolis Hyatt, Newnan High, aviation.

“SkillsUSA Georgia’s annual State Leadership and Skills Conference provides Georgia’s best and brightest high school career and technical education students the opportunity to take the skills, knowledge and experience that they have gained in their classrooms to a new level, as contests are based on industry standards and business partners design and judge the competition,” said Dean Jackson, Coweta County School System spokesman.

“Participating students excel at competition because they have received their education by being involved in high school programs throughout the state that focus on architecture, construction, communication, transportation, culinary arts, personal care services and public safety,” Jackson said.

SkillsUSA is a national, non-profit student organization devoted to providing industry-specific student education. The program has helped train more than 10 million workers through active partnerships between employers and educators.

“CEC students have competed in several SkillsUSA national trials in recent years,” Jackson said, adding there have been state level winners in at least 11 areas.






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