Pryor students head to national competitions

Pryor students head to national competitions
Posted on 05/09/2018
Classmates Lane Ayers (Verdigris) and Forest Smoke (Salina) competed in and won the SkillsUSA State Competition for robotics, and the duo is now advancing to Nationals in June. Thousands of students from across the nation have been competing in state-wide contests as part of their chosen CareerTech Student Organization, and 10 students from the Northeast Tech Pryor Campus will represent Oklahoma at the national competitions during May and June.

SkillsUSA, Business Professionals of America (BPA) and the HOSA Future Healthcare Professionals are just three of several CareerTech Student Organizations available to students across the nation. Each organization hosts local, state and national competitions in which students put their trade skills to the test against peers from across the country.

“Our board and instructors realize the importance of these competitions, not only for the skills and professional networking opportunities it brings to the students, but also because it expands their world a little bit,” said Northeast Tech Superintendent Fred Probis. “For that reason, our district sends a number of students to the competitions each year.”

Among those going to the SkillUSA National competition in Louisville are five students from the Pryor Campus. Representing the culinary arts, auto collision and electrical programs, these five students will represent not only their local district, but the entire state of Oklahoma.

Culinary arts students Dakota Johnson (Oologah) and Sydney Terral (Claremore) will represent Oklahoma in the restaurant services competition, while Dakota Fultz (Claremore) hopes to impress judges with his skills in the auto collision repair competition. Meanwhile, in another area of the massive competition arena, classmates Lane Ayers (Verdigris) and Forest Smoke (Salina) hope to turn their robotics state championship into a national championship.

“I’m nervous about the whole thing, especially learning all the napkin folds,” said Dakota Johnson, an Oologah native who will represent Oklahoma in the restaurant services competition. “More than competing, or even hopefully winning, I’m most excited about the trip and the whole learning experience.”

Representing Oklahoma at the BPA competition in Dallas will be Heaven Estep (Claremore), Angel Gilpin (Big Cabin) and Delia Bozard (Adair) all three of whom make up the broadcast news team. These three ladies will be joined by their classmate, Jason Foley (Claremore) who will participate in the video production team competition.

“Although I’ve presented my video to a number of groups in the past, the stakes are much higher than they’ve been in the past,” Foley said. “And while that’s nerve wracking, I’m excited to go and see the unique culture Dallas has to offer.”

And rounding out the Northeast Tech delegation of competitors is Anissa Giles (Chouteau) who will travel to Dallas in June to compete in the HOSA National Competition. Giles will represent Oklahoma in the medical terminology category.

“The hardest part is remembering all of the different word parts. There are some that look alike that can really mess up the whole word if you don't pay attention,” Giles said. “It’s surreal in a way, I've never actually won anything. To make it all the way to Nationals is pretty great. You get to show everyone what you've learned and really put it to the test.”

Pryor Campus Director Paul Hocutt has been present at many of the local and state competitions, and he’s hoping the students’ success will continue at the national level.

“It always makes me proud to watch our students compete at such a high level, because I know their success in these competitions is indicative of the success they will have in their careers,” Hocutt said. “They’ve put in the time and effort it takes to be excellent in their trades, and I won’t be surprised to see several of them return as national champions.”
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