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McCaffrey, Sammarco, Winzer attend National SkillsUSA Conference

From+left%2C+math+teacher+and+SkillsUSA+advisor+Scott+Stengele%2C+rising+senior+Erica+Sammarco+of+Colts+Neck%2C+rising+senior+Grace+McCaffrey+of+Middletown%2C+and+recent+graduate+Karoline+Winzer+of+Matawan+attend+SkillsUSA+Nationals+in+Louisville%2C+Kentucky.
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McCaffrey, Sammarco, Winzer attend National SkillsUSA Conference

From left, math teacher and SkillsUSA advisor Scott Stengele, rising senior Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck, rising senior Grace McCaffrey of Middletown, and recent graduate Karoline Winzer of Matawan attend SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.

From left, math teacher and SkillsUSA advisor Scott Stengele, rising senior Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck, rising senior Grace McCaffrey of Middletown, and recent graduate Karoline Winzer of Matawan attend SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.

Courtesy of Grace McCaffrey

From left, math teacher and SkillsUSA advisor Scott Stengele, rising senior Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck, rising senior Grace McCaffrey of Middletown, and recent graduate Karoline Winzer of Matawan attend SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.

Courtesy of Grace McCaffrey

Courtesy of Grace McCaffrey

From left, math teacher and SkillsUSA advisor Scott Stengele, rising senior Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck, rising senior Grace McCaffrey of Middletown, and recent graduate Karoline Winzer of Matawan attend SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.

Allie Beekman

Recent CHS graduate Karoline Winzer of Matawan and rising seniors Grace McCaffrey of Middletown and Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck attended the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Kentucky along with math teacher and SkillsUSA adviser Scott Stengele.

The competition took place from June 25 to 30. Winzer competed in Advertising Design while McCaffrey and Sammarco competed in Web Design.

For Advertising Design, Winzer participated in one of the longer competitions of the conference.

My competition in Advertising Design consisted of a total of four days and four sections,” Winzer said. “During the first day we took a written test consisting of both multiple choice and open-ended questions. The mechanical portion on day two consisted of a period of about three hours.”

Winzer said that she found these two sections the hardest out of the four.

“I realized, especially on the mechanical and written tests, that I did not know as much as I thought I did about design,” Winzer said. “Overall, the art programs I’ve been in, though they were downright amazing, did not focus exclusively on the technique behind design and the design programs.”

Sammarco and McCaffrey took place in the two-day Web Design competition. Though shorter than Winzer’s competition, Sammarco said the Web Design competition at the NLSC differed greatly from the SkillsUSA state competitions.

“The state competition was really in [our] comfort zone,” Sammarco said. “It was very similar to what we had done in class and we felt highly prepared to succeed. At the national level, the code was extremely heavy in JavaScript, a language neither of us are very familiar with.”

While they found the competition difficult, Sammarco said that attending the NLSC still proved rewarding.

“We learned a lot about working under pressure and having to figure out new code on the spot,” Sammarco said.

Regardless of length or area of competition, all three competitors utilized their knowledge and experience from CHS and translated it to their respective competitions. Sammarco attributed this to CHS’s emphasis on both coding and design.

“A lot of our competition was purely coders who mainly work on the back end,” Sammarco said. “Due to our knowledge of design, marketing and public speaking, I think we performed a little better on the design and interview portions.”

Winzer said CHS is the main opportunity that allowed her to attend the NLSC competition.

“During the creative portion, I used Mrs. Ortner’s very good advice not to overthink and just to do,” Winzer said. “Overall, CHS has given me a very good foundation in programs, knowledge and the value of design work. I definitely owe my path to nationals to the school and all it has taught me.”

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About the Writer
Allie Beekman, Web Editor

Allie is a senior from Neptune and has been writing for The Inkblot since her freshman year. She has written for multiple sections and now serves as the...

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McCaffrey, Sammarco, Winzer attend National SkillsUSA Conference