July 5, 2008

SkillsUSA Competitor Wins National Award

By Jeanine Kendle

SMITHVILLE -- The Wayne County Schools Career Center had a first- place national winner at the 44th SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical students, in Kansas City, Mo.

Four other competitors placed high in the nation in their career skill competitions and another student was voting delegate.

Earning first place and a gold medal in practical nursing was Julie Hinkel of Triway, She is the daughter of Lewis and Joy Hinkel of Wooster. In postsecondary practical nursing, Norwayne graduate Kaston Fraley took eighth place. Fraley is the daughter of Melissa Willard of Wooster. Practical nursing instructors are Pamela Vorkapich and Beth Gagnon.

Jacqueline Ranallo of Waynedale, a medical assisting student, won fourth place in health occupations professional portfolio, postsecondary. She is the daughter of Russ and Patricia Ranallo of Apple Creek. Her instructors were medical assisting instructor Keri Merickel and pre-nursing instructor Joann Tabellion.

Trent Coblentz of Dalton won eighth place in electronics technology. He is the son of Jonathan and Karen Coblentz of Orrville, with electronics and computer technology instructor Gary Wimer.

Clairice Shook, home-schooled, won 32nd place in computer maintenance technology. She is the daughter of Francis and Suzanne Shook of Smithville, with instructor Vallie Tew.

Engineering technologies student Sarah Gessman of Triway served as voting delegate, helping elect Ohio's candidate to national office.

SkillsUSA advisors are Pamela Vorkapich and Scott Brown. Vorkapich served as contest chair and National Education Team medical assisting and Brown served as contest chair for medical math and the NET. Social studies instructor Lori Bartel helped with the medical assisting contest and board member Susie Lawson judged the medical math contest and assisted at the awards ceremony.

The SkillsUSA championships is the national-level competition for public high school and college/postsecondary technical students enrolled in trade, technical and skilled service profession instructional programs including allied health occupations.

SkillsUSA organizes the event and it is considered the single greatest day of industry volunteerism in America every year at an estimated cost of more than $30 million. Each SkillsUSA championships contestant is a state-level gold medalist.

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