The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 15, 2013

A-Tech students shine at state competitions

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Many students at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus belong to several national associations which enable the students to showcase their talent in a competitive environment. Two of these organizations, FCCLA and SkillsUSA, recently held state competitions in which A-Tech students competed against students from around the state of Ohio.

Early childhood education students at A-Tech are members of the FCCLA organization, which stands for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Their mission is to promote personal growth and leadership development. The FCCLA state competition was held April 19 in Columbus. The Gold Medal winners this year go on to the national competition which is held in Nashville, Tenn. Katie Bogdan, Kelly Runnion and Samantha Wheattall competed in illustrated talk and they were awarded a Silver Medal. Juniors Mikayla Lingo, Mikayla Conroy and Faith Walker competed and were also awarded a Silver Medal. Congratulations to all of our FCCLA medal winners!

The FCCL A members also took what they learned in the classroom to the community this month. The seniors volunteered to work with the Kinship kids which is held at the Ashtabula County Children Services every first Monday of each month. Students helped the children by building their self esteem and worked with them in a warm, welcoming, wanted environment where they could be themselves and interact with each other. The children were engaged in games and activities while their guardians participated in support classes. Kinship is a program designed to help support a child who is unable to reside with his or her own immediate family.

Another way seniors helped out in the community was by attending an event on child abuse awareness called “Spin the Wheel.”

Senior Katie Bogdan said, “I am grateful to have had the opportunity of working with these amazing children and learning so much in a short period of time.”

Juniors also worked with children in schools with the program, “Be a buddy, not a bully.” This program helps individuals understand potential issues a bullying victim might face as well as what actions to take if you see bullying occur.

A-Tech SkillsUSA members were also competing last month against students from around the state. Skills USA gives students an opportunity to independently as well as creatively solve many problematic situations and compete against each other in a specific area of study. Skills USA has many different levels of competition, including local, regional, state and national. A-Tech students competed in Columbus on April 23 and 24.

David West, a senior in the Public Safety Academy, participated in the firefighting competition. He described his experience as “determination, exhaustion and preparation.”

“SkillsUSA is a great way for many people to get together for some friendly competition. All of the travel time to get to and from Columbus was well worth the five minutes of the firefighting competition in which I competed,” West said. “You basically pour your heart into it and push your body to the limits. All in all, Skills USA is a great experience that I think everyone should be interested in.”

The Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus had a total of 22 medal winners. Fourteen of these students brought home Bronze Medals, including Tommy Gullo, Chris Gress, Haley Weisgarber, Nicole Bowins, Chris Otto, Nikki Dubecky, Nichole Shadow, Seader Evans, Brandon Suchala, Leilany Pagan, Louis Castrillion, Justin Peigowski and Amir BenDaali. There were eight students who brought home a Silver Medal including, Ariel Brown, Christine Sloban, Dave Baker, Courtney Carr, Evan Zubeck, Levi Joerns, Collin O’ Brien and Jason Herr.

Congratulations to everyone for making A-Tech proud and representing themselves with honor and pride. Best of luck to seniors in all of their future endeavors!