NC SkillsUSA chapter shines again at State Leadership and Skills Conference


Turner Markwalter

SkillsUSA offers trade-based competitions for students to gain experience in careers they want to pursue later on in life. The welding competitions requires the student to weld pieces of metal together into an artistic mold.

Turner Markwalter, Reporter

The NC SkillsUSA Chapter took part in the 2018 State Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta on Thursday, March 22 and returned back to NC on Saturday, March 24. Chapter members could not wait to represent NC as they competed for the gold medals they worked very hard to acquire.

“Just because I won in the past doesn’t mean I shouldn’t work on my skills. You never know who you are competing against,” senior Nolan Moore said.

Once arriving at the Georgia International Convention Center chapter adviser Michael Barcarse registered the competitors and passed out Professional Development Program (PDP) tests, which each competitor at state must complete. The PDP helps students develop the employability or soft skills needed for a smooth transition to the work force or higher education.

“The tests talk about what kind of skills are needed in specific situations and some facts about SkillsUSA. It’s definitely the worst part of coming to the state conference,” junior Patrick Wright said.

After the students wrapped up the PDP tests, the hotel rooms at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway became available. After the chapter members received their room keys, only 15 minutes remained on the clock for them to sit down in the International Ballroom to witness the Opening Ceremony of the conference. Guests speakers gave motivational tips on last minute preparation in the ceremony.  

The Opening Ceremony wrapped up all the activities for Thursday, sending all competitors to their hotel rooms for an 11 p.m. curfew.

On Friday morning, members of the NC chapter awoke to finish preparing for their competitions later that day. The hard work that they put in throughout the year would stand out amongst all other competitors, garnering the attention of other schools.

“North Cobb is always heard at the awards ceremony a bunch, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we hear it a lot again,” Rabun County senior John Dillis said.

To celebrate the completion of all the competitions on Friday, SkillsUSA Georgia held the Champions Dance, giving all SkillsUSA members a chance to dance and spend time with their friends.

“The DJ only played two bad songs, so you could definitely say it was a success,” sophomore Taylor Mason said.

NC Chapter members have waited for this day since the beginning of the conference: Awards Ceremony day. At 9 a.m., the hard work of the competitors would pay off as they would hear their named called to receive their medals. NC brought home two bronze, five silver, and five gold medals. For the second time in Cobb County History, NC will send a chapter member to become a State Officer. Junior Emily LaPierre will represent Georgia in SkillsUSA along with five other State Officers who were also elected to ensure all activities throughout the next school year will transition smoothly.

“I can’t wait to represent North Cobb on the biggest stage that SkillsUSA can offer,” LaPierre said.

LaPierre will attend the 2018 National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in June to receive necessary training information for becoming a state officer. In addition to LaPierre, six other students from NC qualified for the NLSC by placing first in their respected competition.

Junior Patrick Duckett, 1st place Cabinetmaking

Junior Patrick Wright and sophomore Kanan Miller, 1st place Additive Manufacturing

Senior Daniel MacAnn, sophomore Taylor Mason, and senior Ohaegi Childs, 1st Place Career Pathway Showcase: Arts, Audio/Visual, Technology and Communications (Featuring the Smith & Gilbert Gardens)

The following students also medaled in their competitions etching their names into SkillsUSA Georgia history.

Senior Braden Storey and junior Greg Hranicky, 3rd Place Mechanical Drafting Display

Senior Marco Mancuso and senior Christian Kulat, 3rd Place SkillsUSA Georgia Commercial

Junior Blair Richardson and junior Aysia Hilliard, 2nd Place Law Public Safety, Corrections & Security Display

Senior Ulises Delgadillo and senior Christophe Cesar, 2nd Place Business and Industry Video Production

Senior Rylan Kelly and senior Connor Langston, 2nd Place Audio/Radio Production

Senior Nolan More, 2nd Place Plumbing

Senior Turner Markwalter, junior Zion Fitch, senior Jules Shelly, and junior Emily LaPierre, 2nd Place Broadcast News Production

Senior Brandon Martinez & senior Chad Colan, 1st Place Sports Highlight Reel

Senior TJ Bolden and senior Jay Munro, 1st Place Music Video