Washburn Tech Students Headed to National Competition

June 17, 2015

Topeka, Kan. – Nearly 20 Washburn Tech students will be competing at the SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Ky., this month. The event, scheduled for June 22-26, is a showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation.

To qualify for national competition, students won a gold medal or placed in the top three in state contests that were held in the spring. Contestants work against the clock and each other while proving their expertise in occupations such as computer technology, cabinetmaking, precision machining, baking and advertising design. Washburn Tech sent 119 students to state competition this year and brought home a total of 58 medals.

“Students who compete at the SkillsUSA state level are confirming their training experience here at Washburn Tech,” said David Praiswater, Washburn Tech instructor and SkillsUSA advisor. “Not only are they validating their technical skills at that level but they also bring recognition to Washburn Tech and instructors who prepared them. State winners competing at the national level is all of this and magnified.” 

Washburn Tech’s hardware includes 25 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 15 bronze medals. Washburn Tech also received two conference awards. Clark Coco, dean, Washburn Tech, was named SkillsUSA Administrator of the Year in Kansas and Washburn Tech won the Gold Award for Membership Increase.

Students from Topeka who will be competing in these national contests are: Thomas Bagley, HVAC-Refrigeration; Jacob Crandall, Technical Computer Applications; Cesar Duran-Ortega, Job Skill Demonstration “A”; Justin Gabhart, Cabinetmaking; Debra Garcia-Newman, Restaurant Service; George James II, Community Service; Nick King, Community Service; Elysia Kyzer, Advertising Design; Cory Petit, Collision Repair Technology; Anthony Ross, Medical Terminology; Faith Schoovaerts, Community Service; Mary VanderPutten, Job Interview;  Holly Kibler-DeYoe, First Aid/CPR; and Barbara Evans, Technical Computer Applications.

Students also competing include Randall Eisermann, Netawaka, Internetworking; Cody Hale, Basehor, Collision Repair Technology; Matt Smith, Lawrence, Automotive Refinishing Technology; and Samantha Thuringer, Holton, Extemporaneous Speaking.