Lincoln-Way Central students excel in SkillsUSA State Championships
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From April 27 – April 29, 2017, seven students represented all Lincoln-Way high schools in the SkillsUSA State Championships in Springfield, Illinois. Of the seven, four were from Lincoln-Way Central. The competition was held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center and at the Capital Area Career Center.

"This was my first year of being a Sponsor for SkillsUSA,” said Lincoln-Way Central welding instructor, Daymon Gast. “I knew that the organization provided meaningful experiences for our students; seeing it first hand, I was very proud to be a part of it.”

The SkillsUSA Championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. Students from Lincoln-Way Central who competed were Arley Coleman, Kayla Ray, Adrienne Braico, and William Lester.

Arley Coleman said he was “amazed by the level of competition.” Despite competing among many talented students, Coleman won first place in state in the Job Skills Demonstration. In doing so, he was awarded numerous prizes, including a $16,000 scholarship to Sullivan University. In the competition, students are evaluated on their understanding of employment procedures faced in applying for positions in the occupational areas for which they are training. They are tested on completion of employment applications, preliminary interviews with the receptionist, and in-depth interviews. This summer, Coleman will go on to compete at the National Competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kayla Ray took second place in state in the Black and White Photography Display Competition. Ray also took tenth place in Digital Color Display and fifth in the Open Photography Competition. In these competitions, students demonstrate their ability to use digital single-lens reflex cameras, image editing software, and professional studio lighting. Students perform on-site photography, including portrait studio lighting and posing. They process and print digital photos and submit two mounted and matted photographs to be judged and displayed at the competition.

Adrienne Braico placed seventh in state for the Early Childhood Education competition. In this competition, students demonstrate their knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice and their ability to prepare and implement learning activities for young children. Competitors prepared a written lesson plan and also took a written test assessing their knowledge of child development and effective teaching strategies before implementing the lesson. Braico said, “SkillsUSA has something for everyone.”

William Lester of Lincoln-Way Central placed 22nd in state in Firefighting. This competition evaluated students’ preparation for firefighting careers through a hands-on skills demonstrations and both written and oral presentations. Students were tested in areas such as breathing apparatuses, fire streams, ladders, ropes, knots, hoses, and emergency medical care and rescue. Competitors were evaluated using standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

“Win or lose, the students who attended and competed are all winners,” said Gast. “They practiced, rehearsed, studied, and took on the challenge. It took courage and leadership to do this. It’s a resume booster that will help propel them to their dream job! I'm very proud of them for competing and for taking the initiative.”