Photo Courtesy of Jamie Nickerson
CHS students competed in the SkillsUSA state championship competitions on Saturday, April 8 in Bridgewater, N.J. 18 students participated in numerous competitions and walked away with 14 medals: eight gold and six silver.
SkillsUSA president and senior Connor Martin of Spring Lake Heights said the Skills council began preparing students in November by ensuring students understood their competition’s standards and had all the necessary materials. The council also connected the competitors with students who competed in the same events in previous years.
“We did as much as we could to equip our competitors,” Martin said. “We were also always available for any questions or concerns.”
The club fundraised to cover about 80 percent of expenses with multiple events throughout the school year. Students covered the remaining competition fees.
“Our two main events this year, Homecoming and Career Day, made up the majority of the competition costs,” Martin said. “We also had a couple more smaller fundraisers that raised a little more.”
Junior Colin Martin of Middletown competed in the audio/radio competition with senior Kate Dickenson of Spring Lake Heights and placed first. Colin Martin said he enjoyed writing and editing audio segments on given topics, but the team faced some difficulties when competing.
“The biggest challenge we faced was finding a place to record audio,” Colin Martin said. “There were around thirteen teams all trying to do the same thing we were doing and we were only given three quiet rooms for recording.”
Along with other gold medalists, Colin Martin and Dickenson could have competed on the national level in Louisville, Ky. in June. They are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts, but Martin expressed that he intends to compete in the event next year to defend his title.
Connor Martin said that this year’s competitions brought record-breaking success for the club.
“Out of the past three years, we won the most competitions this year,” Connor Martin said. “It was also great to see that we had all of our competitors win either gold or silver this year, where in past years we’ve had a lot of bronze.”
As graduation approaches, Connor Martin said he has confidence in the future of SkillsUSA and says the current council is doing everything they can to set SkillsUSA up for future success.
“There have been dozens of presidents of SkillsUSA in CHS history just as dedicated as me,” Martin said. “I have all the faith in the world that the next council will do just as well.”