Gadsden State Students Excel In State SkillsUSA Competition

Gadsden State Community College students continued their winning tradition at the Alabama SkillsUSA Leadership Conference recently in Birmingham.

Seven gold medals, four silver medals and four bronze medals were awarded to students from the Ayers, East Broad and Valley Street campuses.

The gold medal winners will advance to the 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, a showcase of career and technical education students, June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo.

Tim Green, dean of technical education and workforce development, praised the dedication to excellence displayed by the students and their instructors.

Individual gold medal winners were Zack Franklin, Horton, automotive refinishing; Corey Lucas, Piedmont, diesel equipment technology; Joseph Newcomb, Springville, collision Repair; Lisa Ruiz, Oxford, residential/construction wiring; and Cody Taylor, Gadsden, CNC turning technology.

The team of Wade McDaniel and Tina Wallace, Hokes Bluff, and Allen Talley, Southside won a gold medal in automotive manufacturing technology. Nic Hartman, Gadsden, won in state only/T-shirt design.

Silver medal winners were Jesse Bryant, Fort Payne, HVAC/R; James Griffin, Ashland, industrial motor controls; Cody Rayford, Ashville, carpentry; and Michael Worrell, Oxford, automotive refinishing.

Bronze medal winners were Hunter Calvert, Guntersville, carpentry; Bradly Higdon, Higdon, HVAC/R; and Ronald Owens, Alexandria, precision machining technology. The team of Kayla Cole, Wedowee, and Jessica Ruger, Tuscaloosa, won a bronze medal in esthetics.

Instructors in these specialties are Robin Cochran, esthetics; Tim Hardy, HVAC/R; Bruce Hill, collision repair and automotive refinishing; Heath McDaniel, carpentry; Joe Mashburn, automotive refinishing; David Smith, CNC turning, precision machining and automotive manufacturing technology; Stephan Stuelp, diesel equipment technology; Tony Thrower, industrial motor controls and residential/construction wiring; and James Wilson, automotive manufacturing technology and T-shirt design.

SkillsUSA is the national organization for college/postsecondary technical students enrolled in trade, technical and skilled service profession instructional programs including allied health occupations.

It represents more than 300,000 students in 130 different occupational areas.

Times Staff Reports