Washburn Tech Student Repeats Silver at SkillsUSA

July 1, 2015
Topeka - For the second consecutive year, Washburn Tech Cory Petit brought home a silver medal from the national SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

A 2015 graduate of the Collision Repair Technology program at Washburn Tech and of Shawnee Heights High School, Petit was one of 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students who competed hands-on in 100 different trade, technical and leadership categories.

“Cory is one of those students you wish you had a whole classroom full of,” said Eric Showalter, technical instruction, Collision Repair Technology.  “He wants to learn. He pushes himself to learn all that he can.”

To prepare for the national competition, Petit never missed a practice session scheduled with the program’s advisory council.

“After school was out, he called to see what days I would be at school so he could come out and practice,” Showalter said. “He did not give up on preparing for SkillsUSA just because school was out and he had graduated.”

Other Washburn Tech students who traveled to the national competition also did well. Twelve placed in the national top 10 and three placed in the national top 15.

To qualify for national competition, students had to win a gold medal or placed in the top three in state contests earlier this year. At the event, they work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as precision machining, drafting, medical assisting and culinary arts. Test competencies are set by industry and all contests are staged with the assistance of industry, trade associations and labor organizations. In addition, leadership contestants demonstrate their skills, such as extemporaneous speaking and skill in parliamentary procedure.

“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 students attending the national SkillsUSA event were:

   Thomas Bagley, Topeka, HVAC-Refrigeration, national top 10;

   Jacob Crandall, Topeka, Technical Computer Applications;

   Cesar Duran-Ortega, Topeka, Job Skill Demonstration “A”;

   Randy Eisermann, Netawaka, Internetworking, national top 15;

   Barbara Evans, Topeka, Technical Computer Applications, national top 10;

   Justin Gabhart, Topeka, Cabinetmaking, national top 10;

   Debra Garcia-Newman, Topeka, Restaurant Service, national top 10;

   Cody Hale, Basehor, Collision Repair Technology;

   George James II, Topeka, Community Service, national top 10;

   Holly Kibler-DeYoe, Topeka, First Aid/CPR, national top 10;

   Nick King, Topeka, Community Service, national top 10;

   Elysia Kyzer, Topeka, Advertising Design, national top 10;

   Cory Petit, Berryton, Collision Repair Technology, national top 10;

   Anthony Ross, Topeka, Medical Terminology, national top 10;

   Faith Schoovaerts, Topeka, Community Service;

   Matt Smith, Lawrence, Topeka, Automotive Refinishing Technology;

   Samantha Thuringer, Holton, Extemporaneous Speaking national top 10.