Carolyn L. Higgins – Contributing Writer

Students at Monday night’s Macon County Board of Education meeting in Highlands took their turn, one by one, coming forward to be recognized for recent accomplishments in SkillsUSA as parents and educators looked on. This organization boasts admirable investment from teachers, industry and students, working together to equip the students with skills and confidence to boost their careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. It serves students in middle school, high school and college. However, the students must remain academically grounded and exemplify leadership qualities. 

The board wanted to recognize the students and their teachers for their achievement. “SkillsUSA in addition to recognizing students for their academic progress also recognizes students and their ability to apply what they learn,” said Macon County Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. “So SkillsUSA is a very important program, and we are certainly very honored by the accomplishments of these students – what they did locally and at the state level.”

FHS SkillsUSA Results:

Morgan Guynn – 1st place – Medical Math. Morgan will advance

to Nationals in Louisville, Ky., in June.

Alexis Kaminski, Elizabeth Perez, Morgan Pangle (team) – 2nd Place – Crime Scene Investigation

Dylan Setser – 2nd place – Carpentry 1

Chris Jenkins – 2nd place – Adobe Visual Design

Preston Rogers – 3rd place – Adobe Visual Design

Daniel Pickens – 4th place – Job Skills Demonstration A

Gabe Pickens – 5th place – Construction Core

Students have many ways to advance, including in the national competitions held in Louisville, Ky., if they have placed first.  They may also increase their growth through such contests as the WorldSkills Competition, the National Leadership and Skills Conference Pin and T-Shirt challenge that offers the opportunity to design these, and a chance to have their photographs published in the Champions Magazine. 

SkillsUSA has served more than 12.5 million students and alumni since 1965 and continues to work with more than 360,000 students and advisors each year.   While the organization is governed at the national level, state and local competitions and conferences are managed at the state level. According to its website, “SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.”

SkillsUSA is an avenue for students participating in an organization that recognizes the importance of traditional trades and crafts and new technology to global economic and social well-being.