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SkillsUSA looks forward to nationals

Jamestown High School is once again the North Dakota SkillsUSA champion and the team is fundraising to attend the national competition from June 24-28 at the Kentucky Expo Center. Five members of the JHS SkillsUSA team who won first place honors ...

JHS SkillsUSA students who won the April state competition and will compete in the national competition this June hold their championship banners May 2 at James Valley Career and Technology Center. From left are MacKenzie Johnson, Kylie Mitchell, Maddie Reinarts and Matthew Skavroneck. Not pictured is Kennedy Middaugh. John M. Steiner / The Sun
JHS SkillsUSA students who won the April state competition and will compete in the national competition this June hold their championship banners May 2 at James Valley Career and Technology Center. From left are MacKenzie Johnson, Kylie Mitchell, Maddie Reinarts and Matthew Skavroneck. Not pictured is Kennedy Middaugh. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Jamestown High School is once again the North Dakota SkillsUSA champion and the team is fundraising to attend the national competition from June 24-28 at the Kentucky Expo Center.

Five members of the JHS SkillsUSA team who won first place honors at the state competition in April will join 16,000 others in Louisville. The event is hosted by SkillsUSA, a nonprofit foundation that uses competition and mentoring programs to help youth explore career opportunities.

The national competition is an "incredible" experience and starts with a parade of teams where the JHS members carry the North Dakota banner around the arena, said Madelyn Reinarts, a JHS senior who will compete in the health knowledge bowl with Kylie Mitchell. The team has prepared with constant studying and quizzing on information they said will be useful throughout life, she said.

"The knowledge we have going in is above and beyond what we are expected to do," Reinarts said.

Mitchell is making her first trip to nationals. She said the James Valley Career and Technology Center classes have shaped her direction toward college and a medical career.

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"All of us have pretty much decided what we want to do with our future pretty much thanks to these classes," Mitchell said. "SkillsUSA has taught me a lot."

Deb Fischer, the health careers instructor at James Valley Career and Technology Center, will make her sixth trip to nationals as the SkillsUSA team's adviser. Each team is unique, she said.

"It's great to see them grow," Fischer said. "These students are our future health care workers and the people who will be out in the industry and the trades."

The JHS SkillsUSA team has traditionally been health careers members. In the past two years, members have won the state competition in auto collision and carpentry.

Matthew Skavroneck, a JHS senior, won the state SkillsUSA carpentry competition in April at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. He and Bob Thoreson, the building trades instructor at James River Career and Technology Center, observed the 2018 event and Skavroneck competed this year in a seven-hour cabinet competition.

"It turned out really well; he did a great job," Thoreson said.

Skavroneck said he enjoyed the opportunity to compete at state and will compete at nationals.

"It really gets the blood pumping when you're going head to head with a bunch of other skilled handymen, and some great guys were going this year," Skavroneck said. "I had quite the competition and I think overall it was quite a good experience."

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MacKenzie Johnson won the job interview competition at state and will compete at nationals. She said it's thrilling to compete with the "best of the best." It will take a team who has each other's backs to win, she said.

"It just shows how, if we can all come together and compete to increase our skills, we can do well and it's also just so much fun," Johnson said.

The students will be reaching out to area businesses to help sponsor the trip. The cost is $1,400 per student to attend.

For more information, contact Fischer at 252-8841 or email debra.fischer@k12.nd.us .

Related Topics: JAMESTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
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