Skills USA Competes at State Competition

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SKILLS USA: Skills USA members gather around a table in their matching jackets. Skills is a club open to anyone who wants to compete career skills-based competitions. “Skills USA is always a lot of fun,” said advisor Tyson Balls.

Mia Hutchinson, staff writer

As activities continued to take place as usual throughout the year, Skills USA also competed in Casper at their state event.

Skills USA is a National Organization which gives students experiences they need to get into the workforce. “We focus on community service and helping kids develop skills they need to be successful after high school” said advisor Tyson Balls.

Thirteen kids participated in the program:  Kaiden Heiner, Jason Heiner, Ryan Heiner, Cadence Truchot, Paysen Robinson, Ben Smith, Josef Scherbel, Ben Bateman, Ruby Rammell, Maggie Daniel, Jenna Young, April Davis, and Onnika Olsen. They all competed at state and did well in their respective events.

Gold Medals:

  • Maggie Daniel and Jenna Young- Additive Manufacturing
  • Ruby Rammell, April Davis, Ben Smith, Cadence Truchot- Health Knowledge Bowl
  • Kaiden Heiner and Jason Heiner- Mobile Robotics

Silver Medals:

  • Onikka Olsen- Commercial Baking
  • Ben Bateman- Job Skill Demonstration
  • Josef Scherbel- Prepared Speech
  • Josef Scherbel- Technical Drafting

Bronze Medals:

  • Ben Bateman- Carpentry
  • Cadence Truchot- Early Childhood Education
  • April Davis- First Aid/CPR

These students competed against other kids from across the state in a wide variety of categories they chose from. Junior Onikka Olsen said, “My favorite part of skills USA was probably my baking competition. I placed second in it, and won some pans which was pretty cool.”

Cooking was just one of the categories members competed in.  “I was able to compete in CPR/First Aid, Quiz Bowl, and Health Knowledge Bowl,” said junior April Davis.

BAKING COMPETITION: Junior Onikka Olsen in the middle of making her award winning cake. She placed second with her cake at state Skill USA and won some pretty cool pans. “I love baking, and I am glad I could go compete and do something that I enjoy doing,” said Olsen.

Some members even had some funny stories to take away from skills. One of those is when the team went to the Health Knowledge Bowl and were not really prepared. They needed a calculator, and a black pen. Luckily, one of them had a notebook in their backpack, but, none of them had a black pen. “We ended up using black eyeliner as a pen for the first half of the competition. We had a blast and laughed the whole time!” said April Davis.

Another funny story happened when the team went to Buffalo Wild Wings and all tried their spiciest wing, the California Reaper. “It was painful, tasted disgusting, and honestly ruined the whole meal but lots of us tried it and it was fun!” said senior Ben Bateman.

CALIFORNIA REAPER: Part of the Skills USA braves the hottest wings Buffalo Wild Wings. They were all dying after this picture and said they regretted that decision. “Let’s just say that they were very very spicy,” said senior Ben Smith.

Skills USA gives students a bunch of  great experiences, good memories, and relationships along the way.  “Next year we will be out of the covid protocol, and we will be able to take more students to state, so we will be holding some informational meetings at the beginning of the school year next year,” said Balls, so anyone interested can talk to Mr. Balls or Mrs. Taylor.