Graduated Jamestown High School seniors Mackenzie Johnson, Madelyn Reinarts, Kylie Mitchell, Matthew Skavroneck and senior Kennedy Middaugh of Jamestown recently participated in the SkillsUSA Championships. This event, by invitation only, was for first place state medalists in 103 competition areas for career and technical students. It is the largest skill competition in the world.

These young competitors received 12th place in the Health Knowledge Bowl competition and eighth place in Cabinet Making at the national level. The SkillsUSA Championships, held in Louisville, Ky., took place June 26-27 as part of the SkillsUSA 55th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students. During the week, more than 6,400 outstanding career and technical education students — all state contest winners competed hands-on in 103 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

These James Valley & Career & Technology Center students “Make us very proud, they are true champions in their dedication to excellence in their trade and leadership skills,” said Deb Fischer, the health science careers instructor at JVCTC.

“Matt (Skavroneck) did a great job representing Jamestown and North Dakota, him placing eighth in the nation is a great accomplishment,” said Bob Thoreson, construction instructor at JVCTC.

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The Health Knowledge Bowl competition tests students on their collective knowledge of health occupations. Four-member teams are judged on speed and accuracy while answering questions in nine categories: Academic Foundations, Communication, Systems, Employability Skills, Legal Responsibilities, Ethics, Safety Practices, Teamwork and Health Maintenance.

Cabinet Making competition requires the building of a small cabinet from supplied materials and drawings. Competitors are expected to read the drawings and lay out and cut the parts using a table saw, laminate trimmer, hand drill, hinge boring machine and various hand tools. The parts must be accurately assembled, sanded and adjusted to tolerances specified by the judges.

During the national competition, they all worked against the clock and each other. All contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations, and labor organizations, and test competencies are set by industry.

Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade and/or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA.

The SkillsUSA Championships have been a premier event since 1967.