Nearly every student at Hart Career Center belongs to a national student organization, which provides them the opportunity to learn through competition on the local, regional, state and national level.
"For this school year, we have a goal of involving each student in the organization associated with their curriculum program," Dr. Mickie Shank, director, said. "It has been heart-warming to see students participate and achieve in these competitions."
SkillsUSA has the most members, 155, of HCC students. These students are enrolled in nine programs at the school.
April Willis, resource counselor, is the HCC coordinator, and member of the SkillsUSA Missouri Executive Council. She believes membership in the organization, and the competitions offered, benefit students. "SkillsUSA really allows the students to put their hands-on abilities to use," she said. "Everything they have learned in the classrooms and labs is put into action. There really is no better form of learning than by doing."
The instructors and Willis believe competition is an important part of the learning process. "Competition allows students to 'strut their stuff' and builds self-confidence," Willis said. "Also, it helps them realize what other schools and students are doing, and just what industries are looking for in future employees. All the SkillsUSA contests are industry driven and have industry support. I don't think a lot of kids realize how much they really know until they start doing and competing."
For the first time, HCC held a preliminary contest to determine which students would advance to district competition. "We chose to hold a local on-site contest because it gives everyone a chance to compete and it helps us decide who should represent our school at the next level," Willis said. "The local competition allows those individuals to shine in their areas of study."
The local competition was held in January, with competitions in both the morning and afternoon classes, with judges from the various industries determining the winners. The top three winners in each category advanced to district competition Feb. 25.
For three SkillsUSA areas, HCC hosted the district competition, due to the Northeast district host school (Kirksville) being unable to accommodate contests in Welding, Welding Fabrication and Computer Maintenance Technology.
These winners, in the Feb. 8 competition, will represent HCC at the state competition at Linn State Technical College in April.
Welding: first, Logan Gilette (Mongtomery County); third, Neil Hopkins (Mexico). Welding Fabrication: third, the team of Nik Kellem (Fulton) Jerod Weaver (Montgomery County) and Connor Johnson (Paris). Welding instructor is Scott Ulrich.
Computer Maintenance Technology: first, Zach Allen (Van-Far); second, Dylan Yeager (Mexico). Instructor is Craig Knight.
Hart Career Center also has had two winners in the Missouri SkillsUSA T-shirt and trading pin design contests.
Graphics Arts students Edgar Ramirez (Mexico) earned third place in the trading pin contest, and Kylea Dudley (Fulton) earned second place in the T-shirt design competition. Graphics Arts instructor is Ben Nickelson.
Members of the Future Business Leaders of America competed at the district level earlier this year. In the performance and skill events Feb. 15, eleven students, all from Mexico, placed.
Business Plan presentation: first, Sean Kelly.
Impromptu Speaking: second, Jesse Craft.
Computer Applications: second, Samantha Morton.
Digital Design and Promotion: third, Meg Griffin.
Computer Problem Solving: third, Jared Melton.
Team Entrepeneurship: third, Kelly and Matt Ridgway.
Team Business Plan Project: third, Melton and Keegan Evans.
Health Care Administration: fourth, Anna Perll.
Help Desk: fifth, Craft.
Part of the FBLA district competition was online, with testing taking place Jan. 10-Feb. 4. Four students placed in the competition.
Computer Applications: first, Jake Fuemmeler.
Business Procedures: sixth, Anna Perll.
Word Processing: eighth, Olivia Kerr.
Sports Management: eighth, Ben Miller.
The top winners in the competition, Sean Kelly and Jared Melton, will advance to the state contest April 21-23. "Competition gives a realistic point of view on their knowledge base," FBLA sponsor Sarah Gooch said. "The students strive to improve and learn from their triumphs and mistakes, based on their experiences and judges' reviews."
There were four HCC winners at the district DECA contest, with the first and second place finishers advancing to the state competition March 17-19. All the students are from Mexico.
Principles of Finance: first, Lake Bailey; second, Kyle Bailey; third, Monica Martinez.
Principles of Marketing: second, Kaylin Crow.
"DECA is an international career and technical student organization for students interested in marketing, management, and entrepreneurial careers," sponsor David Okenfuss said. "The competitions give students a great opportunity to test their skills in a variety of events. It is a great recognition for all of their hard work. The participants also get to network with business professionals since they are the ones who judge the competitions."
The local winners who qualified for district following local competition are as follows:
Diesel Technology: Morning: first, Jeffrey Fischer (Van-Far); second, Rachel Buck (Mexico); third, Brian Barnes (Mexico). Afternoon: first, Anthony Brower (Mexico); second, Gib Graham (Mexico); third, Tommy Blakely (North Callaway). Instructor is Kent Norfleet.
Welding: first, Neil Hopkins (Mexico); second, Shane Ball (Mexico); third, Logan Gillette (Montgomery County); fourth, Matt Ball (Montgomery County).
Computer Programming: first, Eric Wade (Paris); Elizabeth Saunders (North Callaway); third, Jacob Zurweste (Mexico). Instructor is Amy Harris.
Web Design: first, Ben Addie (Paris); second, Dalton Wilson (Mexico); Keegan Evans (Mexico). Python Programming: first, Jared Melton (Mexico); second, Haden Hobbs (Mexico); third, Victor Cripe (Community R-6).
Python Programming: first, Jared Melton (Mexico); second, Haden Hobbs (Mexico); third, Victor Cripe (Community R-6). Instructor is Amy Harris.
Automotive Technology: Morning: first, Matthew McGlasson (Van-Far); second, Austin Ruby (Van-Far); third, Brandon Rutherford (Community R-6). Afternoon: first, Gary Grawe (Fulton); second, Gabe Huff (Fulton); third (tie) Shawn Basnett (Paris) and Cody Herndon (Montgomery County). Instructor is Ron Crowe.
Graphic Arts: Morning: first, Justin Tharp (Community R-6); Afternoon: first, Loren Rayl (Mexico); second, Cierra Harpole (Mexico); third, Austin Miller (Paris). Instructor is Ben Nickelson.
Electronics Engineering: first, Alex Shaw (Mexico); second, Connor Templeton (Mexico); third, Trenton Johnson (Mexico). Instructors are Hester Russell and Mark Murphy.
Computer Service Technology: Morning: first, Zach Allen (Van-Far); second, Brandon Smith (Mexico); third, Daniel Barker (Mexico). Afternoon: first, Dylan Yeager (Mexico); second, Ethan Campbell (Mexico); third, Perry Twenter (Mexico). Instructor is Craig Knight.
Cosmetology: Secondary Students: first (tie), Mikaela Gilman (North Callaway) and Kailyn Garnett (Centralia); second, Ceirra Schmidt (Mexico). Post-Secondary Students: first, Lisa Brooks; second, Tori Hays; third, Jenny Gilbertson. Instructor is Jackie Crow.
Health Occupations: Morning: first, Austin Logerman (Mexico); second, Jordan Brandt (Van-Far); third, Hydie Flowers (Van-Far). Afternoon: first, Lydia Treat (Paris); second, Cheryl Orscheln (Mexico); third, Amanda Beal (Mexico). Instructor is Donna Butts.
48 SkillsUSA students advance to state competition
Students at Hart Career Center earned a total of 39 medals in district competition, which will allow 48 students to advance to the state competition April 4-6. The state competition will be held at Linn State Technical College.
"We are very proud of our students and their performances," April Willis, HCC SkillsUSA coordinator, said. "In comparison, last year we had only 18 winners at district who advanced to state competition."