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Stanly Community College students receive national SkillsUSA awards

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Students from Stanly Community College recently returned from the National SkillsUSA Championships and brought home first- and second-place medallions among thousands of participating contestants.

The 2019 SkillsUSA Championships were part of the 55th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky.

More than 6,600 career and technical education students (all state contest winners) competed in more than 100 hands-on trade, technical and leadership fields. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations and test competencies set by industry.

“We are very proud of our students who participated in the competitions,” Brandon Crump, SCC Technology Academy instructor and SkillsUSA advisor, said. “These students are true champions in their dedication to excellence in their trade and leadership skills.”

Students who participated in the competitions included: Abigail Helms (cosmetology), Tyler Tucker (electronics technology), Bryson Tomberlin (information technology services), Ashley Atwood (medical assisting), Leanne Beck (medical math), Kimberly Griffin (medical terminology and second-place silver medal recipient), Johan Mercado (practical nursing), Kayly Duran (related technical math), Daniel Tarlton (telecommunications cabling and first-place gold medal recipient).

The award “means that I have the skills to go out into the workforce and apply my skills in a useful way,” 19-year-old Tucker said.

Tucker completed his second year at SCC and is taking courses in electronics engineering technology. He is learning how circuits and parts work.

“I am very proud of Tyler, first for being the state champion in his division and earning the position of representing North Carolina in that category at nationals,” SCC advisor Gary Hatley said. “We continue to hear, both from local industries and at events such as the SkillsUSA National Conference, that there is a tremendous demand for skilled technicians in the STEM areas. I commend Tyler for pursuing a rewarding career path that leads to actual jobs.”

Tarlton said he was “ecstatic” to learn he had won the college gold medal in telecommunications cabling.

“Going into the competition I was unsure of what my chances were at placing,” Tarlton said. “I had viewed the competition as a good opportunity to learn and a great experience, coming away with a medal just made it that much better.”

Several SCC representatives partook as judges for various competitions that included Brandon Crump (technology academy instructor), Jeff Swaringen (computer engineering technology program head), Kelly Caudle (ASC/ITC and IT academy program head), Brian Crump (information technology/network management program head), Frank Lambert (network technology instructor), and volunteer Dan Parmer.

In addition, Gary Hatley (electronics engineering technology program head), Garrett Allen (AMITT success coach), and Gena Trogdon (cosmetology instructor) took care of facilitating the logistical support for the students.
North Carolina earned 78 medallions, the highest medal count in the country.

Reporter Chris Miller contributed to this story.