SkillsUSA 'validates' efforts of career & tech students


Twenty-seven students at the Warwick Career and Technical Center recently earned medals in the SkillsUSA Competition, an event that aims to test skills of high schoolers, as well as college students, across the state who are interested in pursuing a career in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.

Among the winners are eight gold medallists, who will be representing Rhode Island at the weeklong SkillsUSA national competition to be held in Kansas City, Mo. in June.

For Toll Gate senior Nicole Horan, 17, who for the third year in a row won a gold medal in the local competition and will be traveling to Missouri, the event is quite the experience.

“You get to go out, meet a bunch of new people and do what you love while you’re there,” she said.

Further, Horan said participating in the event has helped prepare her for college. In fact, she plans to attend the New England Institute of Technology and begin taking electrical classes this summer.

“This looks great on a resume,” said Horan, who has been the sole female in her electricity classes the last three years. “It’s awesome because I have the highest grade in the class, too.”

Her teacher, Stephen Brady, said he couldn’t be more proud.

“She’s worked very hard,” he said. “She’s very committed.”

Bill McCaffrey, director of the Career Center, along with Brian Vadeboncoeur, Michael Haynes and Elizabeth Charette, who serve as advisors at the Center, are pleased students have consistently placed in past years.

“It validates what we are doing here,” McCaffrey said. “It shows that we are preparing our kids and that they are excelling at a state level.”

Students from Warwick Veterans High School who placed are: Elizabeth Barstow, second place winner in Advertising Design; Ian Olson, who won first place in Architectural Design; Ryan Adams, third place victor in Automotive Technology; Destiney Lourenco, who won first place in Basic Health Care Skills; and Abigail Choiniere, the first place champion in Nurse Assisting.

West Warwick High School students who earned awards include Jessica Cyckevic, third place winner in Advertising; Michael Webb, who won second place in Architectural Design; Alex Kacprzak, second place winner in Automotive Technology; Kyle Sylvia, third place winner in Carpentry; Matt Joaquin, who earned third place in Teamworks; David Dalomba, third place victor in Teamworks; Austin Conte, first place champion in Technical Drafting; and Jacob Plaziak, second place winner in Technical Drafting.

Toll Gate High students who were victorious are Daniel Walsh, third place winner in Cabinetmaking; Michael Conte, who won first place in Computer Inter-Networking Technology; Horan, first place winner in Industrial Motors and Controls; Tyler Weinberg, who won third place in Teamworks; Tyler Dilbero, first place winner in T-Shirt Design; and Amanda Flanagan, who won third place in Web Design.

Champions from Pilgrim High School are Nicholas Osborne, third place winner in Computer Inter-Networking Technology; Brett Prescott, who won second place in Marine Technology; Nakia Medeiros, third place winner in Marine Technology; Elijah Lamoureux, first place winner in Medical Math; Paige Forit, third place winner in Medical Terminology; Jared Connors, third place victor in Teamworks; and Kellen Winsow won first place in Automotive Technology.

Home schooled student Michael Valdes placed third in Web Design.


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