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Students Prove Skills at State and National Competitions

Kent Career Tech Center students proved they’re ahead of the curve by placing high in a variety of educational and skill based competitions during the 2013-14 school year. Students excelled in the Future Health Professionals’ HOSA competition for health sciences, the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Associations (MITES) competition, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, and the multi-disciplinary Skills USA competition.

Skills USA Computer Programing Gold Medal winner Kallyn Gowdy with instructor Laurie Fernandaz

The Skills USA competition is a national event for students enrolled in career and technical programs. Competing against 300,000 participants, the Tech Center boasts a gold medal winner, a silver medal winning team, and a ninth-place finalist.

Kallyn Goudy, a home schooled student enrolled in the Tech Centers IT program, won the Gold in Computer Programming. He is planning to study Digital Media Software Engineering at Ferris State University. Taking home the silver medal in 3D Animation and Visualization was Kenowa Hills student Logan Armstrong and home schooled student Walter Horjus.

Christine Vandermeer, a Graphic Communications student from Grandville High School, placed ninth in the Advertising Design competition. A full list of finalists in State and Regionals can be found here.

Skills USA State of Michigan Senior Officer:  Forest Hills Northern High School student Jake Beyer has served on the board for two years while at the Tech Center and continues to teach and train the 2014-15 State Officers

“We are so proud of these students for giving their all and grateful to the advisors for promoting programs like Skills USA,” said Deb Riolo, Tech Center Intructor and Skills USA lead advisor. 

Future Health Professionals HOSA is a national student organization that promotes heath care career opportunities and aims to improve health care services for all people. Students participate in 56 competitive events aligned with the National Healthcare Foundation and Accountability Criteria. The Tech Center sent 44 students to the HOSA State Competition.

The Public Health team consisting of Marquisa Davis, from Grand Rapids University Prep High School, Jockea Rice, from Grand Rapids Central High School and Bailey Rinal and Hannah Wheeler, from Sparta High School and the Outstanding HOSA Chapter students Samantha Saenz from Sparta High School, Brooklyn Tapp from Wyoming High School, and Jasmine Goodmancage from Grand Rapids Public Schools moved on to compete at the national level. Their instructor was Korrie McFarlane. A full list of students that competed at state can be found here.

The Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society (MITES) competition encourages the development of industrial and technological education personnel and curriculum. The competition consists of all of the high schools and tech centers in Michigan. Many students from the Tech Center placed in the regional competition and moved on to the state competition.

At state, Jordon Taylor from Rockford High School and Ethan Chapin from Comstock Park High School ranked first in the CAD Detail Drawing competition. Ethan Chapin ranked first, Brad Schmid from Kenowa Hills High School ranked second and Gavin McDonald from Sparta High School ranked third in CAD Detail Mechanical Drawing. Jacob Burtt from Northview High School ranked second in CAD Architectural Working Drawing. Home schooled student Patrick MacLeod ranked third in both the CAD Architectural Working Drawing and Interior Photo Realistic Drawing competition. A full list of students that competed at the regional and state level can be found here.

 Branden Moelker, from Covenant Christian High School, shows off MITES awards with instructor Ryan Hardy

Over 150 schools entered the attended the Ford / AAA Student Auto Skills Competition. Of the students accompanied by Automotive Technology Instructor Ryan Hardy, Dustin Gritter from Grand Rapids Christian High School and Adam Pelton Thornapple Kellogg High School placed fourth out of the top ten schools in Michigan. The goal of the competition is to foster interest in the automotive industry and to encourage talented students to pursue careers as automotive service technicians. Participants got a chance to prove their ability through a written exam and a chance to “debug” a new Ford vehicle. 

“The experiences during the national competition will be lessons for lifelong learning. It has been an opportunity to build relationships with a professional organization that continues after the competition,” said Riolo.


The Tech Center

Skills USA


Ford / AAA Student Auto Skills Competition

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Adrian Hirsch
Adrian Hirsch
Adrian Hirsch has been with SNN since its launch, starting as an intern from Grand Valley State University where he received a degree in broadcasting and business. After the internship, Adrian was brought on as staff to continue reporting, editing and publishing stories for SNN and Kent ISD. Adrian has been active with community radio station WYCE for years, served as Non-Profit Coordinator for GRTV, and currently works as the Web Producer for SNN.


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