Thirteen students from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College are headed to the National SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta this June after winning gold medals at the state-wide SkillsUSA Championship this past weekend. This was the first in-person competition since 2019. The college had an exceptional showing bringing home 13 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze medals. For the fourth year in a row, Wiregrass was recognized as a Gold Chapter of Distinction level award winner. Once again, Wiregrass’ SkillsUSA Chapter was recognized as the Largest SkillsUSA Chapter with 105 members.
Wiregrass Director of Campus Life and SkillsUSA Lead Advisor, Kelley Wetherington, coordinates the chapter's community projects and sponsored three major events this year. “De-Stress-ember” was held in December, providing Wiregrass employees and students an opportunity to destress before finals while also providing Neuromuscular Massage Therapy students the opportunity to complete state-required check-off sheets for specific job skills. Chapter members of SkillsUSA planned and executed the event for students and college employees. During Spring Semester, the chapter helped local animal shelters with a project called, “Keep the Critters Cozy and Their Kennels Clean.” This was an opportunity for members to use problem-solving skills to determine how to support local animal shelters within the restrictions of COVID. The event committee collected specific items to help meet the needs of the local shelters. Lastly, the chapter was involved with “What’s in your brand? Build a personal brand that works for you.” The project’s goal was to help students improve interview skills and promote confidence in interview skills. In-person or virtual interviews were held for each participant, which allowed them to receive individual feedback from interviewers and advisors.
Wiregrass President DeAnnia Clements shared, “It was wonderful to hear “Wiregrass’ called out so many times during the awards ceremony. The dedication of our instructors and advisors is evident in how well our students perform year after year. We congratulate these students, faculty, and advisors, and look forward to National SkillsUSA in Atlanta this June.”
These Wiregrass students who won gold will represent Wiregrass Georgia Tech at the SkillsUSA National Championships:
Wilmer Calles, Gaming Development, Valdosta Campus in 3-D Visualization and Animation
Tatianna Conger, Gaming Development, Valdosta Campus in 3-D Visualization and Animation
Hayden Davis, Precision Machining, Valdosta Campus in Automated Manufacturing Technology
Nathaniel Gray, CNC Specialist, Valdosta Campus in Automated Manufacturing Technology
MJ Johnson, Precision Machining, Valdosta Campus in Automated Manufacturing Technology
Elaine Elder, Culinary Arts, Valdosta Campus in Commercial Baking
Brandon Howell, Commercial Electrical Construction, Valdosta Campus in Electrical Construction Wiring
Lola Valler, Cosmetology, Valdosta Campus in Job Skill Demonstration Open
Eric Arroyo, Mechatronics, Valdosta Campus in Mechatronics
Joseph Durrah, Mechatronics, Valdosta Campus in Mechatronics
Nadia Harris, Design and Media Production, Valdosta Campus in Pin Design
Andrew Ngo, Computer Programming, Valdosta Campus in T-Shirt Design
Ryan Degner, Welding, Valdosta Campus in Welding Sculpture
Silver medal winners from Wiregrass were:
Darrellnette McCrae Stibbibs, Culinary Arts, Valdosta Campus in Culinary Arts
Adrian Malagon-Galvan, Cosmetology, Valdosta Campus in Job Skill Demonstration A
Aileen Jones, Practical Nursing, Valdosta Campus in Nurse Assisting
Noah Gunter, Design and Media Production, Valdosta Campus in Pin Design
Students who won bronze medals at the state level were:
Jonathon Wilson, Mechatronics, Valdosta Campus in Industrial Motor Control
Adasia Zackery, Nursing Technician, Valdosta Campus in Nurse Assisting
Other college participants include from the Valdosta Campus Aaron Parker, Keith Barron, David Grace, Tetiana Denysenko, Tedria Martin, and William Smith; and from the Ben Hill-Irwin Campus Shanterra Shelton.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers, high school, and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skills service occupations. The SkillsUSA program hosts local, state, and national competitions for students to showcase their skills learned through hands-on training in the classroom. For more information about Wiregrass’ SkillsUSA chapter or other student organizations and programs, visit wiregrass.edu. Wiregrass is hosting Free Application Week, March 14 – 18, Summer Semester classes begin on May 16.