A team of Ogeechee Technical College students headed to the SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, recently with gold on their minds — and they did not come home disappointed.
OTC students Jacob Bolen, Mark Olsson, Chris Archambeault, Micheal Millette, Garet Sircey, Leigh Anne Nowicki and Riley Mannfeld earned the gold medal in the highly competitive Quiz Bowl team competition.
The SkillsUSA competition held in June "was comprised of several highly competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. To reach nationals, students had to succeed at both local and state levels," the statement read.
The team also won a gold medal in the state competition.
"We are always so excited for our students to showcase the training and skills they learn at OTC at a national level," said OTC President Lori Durden. "This year, it was great that their hard work and dedication really paid off."
The quiz bowl competitors were tested on their ability to quickly respond to questions and their depth of knowledge in relation to SkillsUSA careers essentials and current events.
SkillsUSA is a "partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce," according to the program's website, www.skillsusa.org. "SkillsUSA helps each student excel. We provide educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation's classrooms."
SkillsUSA serves more than 360,000 students and instructors annually. This includes 20,926 instructors who join as professional members, according to the site.
"It was an honor and privilege to be the SkillsUSA Quiz Bowl coach for this group of incredible individuals," said Terry Hand, an IT instructor at Ogeechee Tech. "At OTC, I truly believe we are making a difference by helping people receive the quality education they need to be successful in today's modern-day work environment."
Other students who participated were Ryker Collins in Sheet Metal; Robert Woodie in Internetworking; and Lane (Stewart) Jarrell, Andre Perez and Ethan Harrison in the Career Pathways Showcase. OTC staff who accompanied the students as showcase advisors were Jackie Howard, Allen McDaniel, Beckie Snyder, Hand, Shane Todd, Chuck Davis and Norm Threatt.
"It is so difficult to win a medal in this competition, much less a gold medal," Durden said. "I cannot tell you how proud I am of these students and the staff that supported them. It is just fantastic."