District Five students shine at SkillsUSA National Conference

The SkillsUSA chapter at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) traveled to Atlanta, Georgia from June 19, 2023, through June 24, 2023 to compete in the National Championships. 36 students made the trip with 34 competing across 20 different competitions.

Two of the students, Quinn Anhar and Ryan Hill, were representatives for the chapter in the Chapter Excellence Program. In May 2023, The Center’s chapter was named a Model of Excellence Chapter for the fourth consecutive year, once again placing them among the top 24 chapters in the country. Both represented the chapter well and were awarded medallions on behalf of the chapter’s work during the 2022-2023 school year.

Over 16,000 people were in attendance for this event, consisting of students, teachers and industry partners. Professional Development was offered, community service projects completed, social events provided, a TECHSPO filled with industry personnel was present, and competitions filled the more than 4.3 million square feet of space at the Georgia World Congress Center.

South Carolina’s contingent of over 230 members performed at a record pace and The Center’s 34 competing students were no exception. 18 of the students finished in the top 15 nationally and 6 earned medals. This is the highest total for The Center and the third consecutive year with national placers, previously earning a Gold and Silver in 2021, and two Silvers in 2022. This year’s placers consisted of one Gold, four Silvers, and one Bronze. The competitions in which the Center finished top 15, and the list of their national medalists are below.

During this trip, a record 22 members from the Center’s SkillsUSA chapter completed a community service project, building bicycles for underprivileged children. They combined with hundreds of other students and teachers from across the country to build over 100 bicycles total. This reinforced the value of teamwork, communication, and work ethic among members.

The Center for Advanced Technical Studies also boasts three state officers for the 2023-2024 school year; Sylvia Dobbe (President), Avery Smith (Vice President), Chloe Raynor (Treasurer), each of whom attended the Leverage (State Officer) Training in Atlanta during their trip from June 16, 2023 – June 19, 2023, helping them to gain valuable leadership skills as they enter their year of service to our state.

The past-lead advisor, Joseph Chapman, is passing the reigns of the chapter over to the new lead advisor, Sherry Clapp, starting with this previous year of transition. While Mr. Chapman will still be active within the chapter, this transition provides the time to concentrate his efforts towards the state as he enters his third year as the State Executive Director for SkillsUSA South Carolina.

“It is amazing to see our chapter consistently be named one of the top chapters in the country and consistently be extremely competitive on the national stage,” Chapman said. “The results this year are just one measurement of how skilled our students are and how influential our teachers are. Our student leaders and staff at The Center have worked extremely hard all year to ensure that all gain the experience and knowledge to be confident in their future and SkillsUSA has continued to provide a great avenue to showcase their talents, gain industry partners, and become career ready. It has been an honor to lead our chapter for the past four years and I look forward to seeing the new heights it will reach moving forward.”
Below are the National Medalists and Top 15 competitions.

1st Place (National Champion)
Employment Application Process – Houston Lee

2nd Place
Internetworking – Peter Muller
Outstanding Chapter – James Bothe, Kathryn Brophy, Jedediah Smith

3rd Place
Technical Drafting – Ryan Riddle

Top 10
Audio-Radio Production- Julianna Stewart, Coda Walston- 8th Place
CNC 3-Axis Milling Programmer- Wyatt Holland – 8th Place
Digital Cinema Production- Sofia Segura, Lance Varner – 8th Place
Mobile Robotics Technology- Zachary Jeffcoat, Hayden Robinson- 8th Place
Community Service- Alexia Bothers, Roberto Gonzalez, Nathalie LeGrand- 11th Place
Electrical Construction Wiring – Peter Egan-11th Place
Computer Programming- Lucas Pearson – 13th Place

Advisors (attending NLSC)
Joseph Chapman
Sherry Clapp
John Gray
Ashlon Langley
Stephen Wilson
Lori Smith (Chaperone)