MOUNT JACKSON - Technical students from throughout the region showcased their skills Saturday in a slew of areas at the annual SkillsUSA competition hosted by Triplett Tech.
The event consisted of 18 competitions with themes ranging from culinary to carpentry during which students had to complete in tasks such as preparing sauteed chicken or checking a car’s brakes.
Triplett Tech Principal Connie Pangle said the students “always amaze me the way they step up and show their skills.”
About 85 students competed from SkillsUSA District 10, which consists of schools from Winchester and Shenandoah, Page, Warren, Frederick, Loudoun, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Madison counties.
Pangle explained that the students were judged at their respective tasks by industry professionals.
One of those judges, Adam Orndorff, a former chef who is now a police officer and owner of the Cakes by Adam bakery, oversaw the culinary competition. He said the event benefits students by providing a good feel for workplace scenarios students will face after school.
He said the culinary competition shows students the stresses of a restaurant kitchen and what it is like to work on a deadline as a chef stands over them critiquing their food.
“It’s as close to the real world that you can get in high school,” Orndorff said.
Ian Lehman, who placed first in the auto technology competition, said that his win consisted of overseeing different aspects of car repair. He said those included checking rear suspension, examining a vehicle for inspection violations and checking brakes.
The automotive students had just 15 minutes to perform each task, which judge Carl Moyer said is not enough time to make any repairs. But he said that the time is sufficient to examine the competitor’s breadth of knowledge.
Pangle said that while technical students will not necessarily be employed in their fields of study, educating themselves for tasks such as repairing cars are skills that will be useful for the rest of their lives.
She added that since the competitions are judged by industry professionals, students have in the past made connections that led to employment.
The winner of each category will advance to the State SkillsUSA competition this April in Virginia Beach.
The district 10 students who will be attending the state competition are: Hayden Orndorff (auto body); Skii Bohlman (auto body refinishing and job demonstration); Ian Lehman (auto technology); Matthew Avvenire (carpentry); Caitlyn Smoot (cosmetology); Kamryn Custer (culinary arts); Brendan Daly (residential wiring); Tyler Baronowski (masonry); Joseph Asbridge (postgraduate masonry); Angel Viniegra-Quintanilla (restaurant service); Sabrina Franz (medical terminology); Summer Sypolt (CPR and first aid); Chris Moats (job interview); Henry Wakeman (job demonstration); Sabrina Franz, Keysi Brito Gonzalez and Summer Sypolt (promotional bulletin board) and Gonzalez will also attending in the category of extemporaneous speaking.