Basic Health Care Skills gold medalists and Valley Tech Health Services senior Francesca Niro of Mendon (center) received a huge round of applause during the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference Championships awards ceremony held inside the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
UPTON – Proving once again that their vocational technical skills are among the best in the nation, students from Blackstone Valley Tech captured seven medals and earned several top-ten finishes at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference Championships.
Held June 22-26, 2015, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, the annual Conference featured over 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students competing in hands-on events in 100 different trade, technical, and leadership fields. Among the thousands of contenders were 16 Valley Tech students who qualified for the national competition by winning gold medals in the Massachusetts championships. Facing strong competition and panels of judges comprised of business and industry leaders, Valley Tech’s students won a total of six gold medals, one silver medal, and top-ten placements in four additional events.
Three gold medals for Community Service were captured by the team of BVT Health Services students Mikayla Corda of Grafton, Samantha Cella of Northbridge, and Hannah Licarie of Millbury. The team’s winning presentation highlighted its R.I.S.E. (Respect Individuality & Self Expression) Above public awareness campaign concerning the effects of self-esteem and self-image on a person’s health and wellness, particularly in adolescents.
In another team effort, two national gold medals were earned by BVT Electronics and Engineering Technology seniors Dillon Arnold of Northbridge and Anthony Arrigo of Upton. Competing in the robotics category of Urban Search and Rescue, Dillon and Anthony constructed a robot capable of delivering medical supplies to trapped victims in a simulated emergency search-and-rescue situation.
Valley Tech Health Services senior Francesca Niro of Mendon also took home a gold medal in the Basic Health Care Skills Category after proving herself to be the best in the nation at delivering entry-level health care procedures.
In the national Welding competition, Valley Tech Manufacturing and Engineering Technology junior Todd Mahoney of Sutton earned a silver medal for second place. Todd’s competition required him to adhere to industry-standard drawings, plans, and terms while performing various aspects of welding, including Gas Metal Arc Welding, Flux Cored Arc Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Gas Tungsten Arc Welding.
Several Valley Tech students placed within the top-ten of their respective competitions: Drafting and Engineering Technology senior Jacob O’Donnell of Northbridge finished 4th in Technical Drafting; Information Technology senior William Stevens of Millbury finished 5th in Computer Programming; Health Services junior Carson Hope of Sutton finished 5th in Health Occupations Professional Portfolio; and Multimedia Communications junior Rachel DeWolfe of Bellingham finished 8th in Photography.
In addition to the medalists and top-ten finishers, BVT Auto Tech senior Adam Burdzel of Millbury and Auto Body senior Dylan Phaneuf of Milford earned SkillsUSA Skill Point Certificates. Health Services sophomore Stacey Muanya of Milford, Multimedia Communications sophomore Nicole Cella of Northbridge, Health Services junior Kayleigh Poudrier of Northbridge, and Health Services freshman Hailey Baldwin of Northbridge served as SkillsUSA National Voting Delegates and helped elect a Massachusetts State Officer to national office for the sixth consecutive year.
“We are proud to share SkillsUSA’s mission of preparing students for the high-skill workforce,” said Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick. “Valley Tech’s effectiveness in that mission is well represented by our students’ continued success in the Olympics of vocational technical education.”
Fitzpatrick added that in August, two Valley Tech graduates will represent the United States in the international WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil. Drafting and Engineering Technology 2010 graduate Jake Rivard of Northbridge will compete in the Technical Drafting competition, and 2011 Manufacturing and Engineering Technology graduate Andrew Cardin will compete in the Welding category.
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school’s website is www.valleytech.k12.ma.us.