SkillsUSA Students Wow Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito
Shown the ribbon cutting ceremony (L-R) are MA Vocational Assoc. Exec. Director Donald Jarvis, Valley Tech Supt-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick and Lt. Gov. Karyn L. Polito
Valley Tech earns 32 medals in state championships
UPTON - Calling vocational technical schools "the gem" of the state's K-12 education systems, Lieutenant Governor Karyn L. Polito provided a spirited opening address at the recent SkillsUSA Massachusetts State Leadership and Skills Conference Championships at Blackstone Valley Tech.
The annual SkillsUSA state conference and championships is the largest educational gathering in the Commonwealth and features more than 2,500 of the state's top vocational technical students competing in trade-based categories for the right to represent Massachusetts at the national championships. The event on May 1 marked the ninth year in which Valley Tech has hosted the conference championships.
In her opening address, Lt. Gov. Polito expressed pride in the state's vocational technical schools for providing students with the skills and competitive spirit necessary for success in the high-tech workforce. Addressing the students directly, Lt. Gov. Polito said that she and Governor Charlie Baker will do their part to make sure the students' home state is a viable place to grow careers and families.
"It's our job to make sure there are jobs for you when you graduate high school or college," Lt. Gov. Polito remarked. "You have an education and experience that are very valuable, and you will have a choice as to where you bring those assets. We hope you will decide to continue the success you've had here in Massachusetts. We need you in our Commonwealth."
Noting that Lt. Gov. Polito and Gov. Baker spent a portion of their historic first day in office at Blackstone Valley Tech, Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick thanked the lieutenant governor for once again making a prominent display of her support for vocational technical education.
"Throughout their hard-fought elections, Lieutenant Governor Polito and Governor Baker utilized the public platform of a statewide campaign to routinely praise the value added success of the Commonwealth's vocational technical systems," Fitzpatrick said. "Their continued advocacy leaves no doubt that their public praise was much more than campaign rhetoric; it was a whole-hearted endorsement of education that not only works, but works wonders."
After earning an impressive 82 medals at their district competition in March, Valley Tech students won a total of 39 medals at the state championships, including 18 gold, 9 silver, and 12 bronze medals, as well as several elected positions. Sixteen Valley Tech gold medalists will advance in June to the SkillsUSA National Leaderships and Skills Conference Championships in Louisville, KY.
The following BVT students, grouped by hometown, earned medals or elected positions at the SkillsUSA state championships:
BellinghamGOLD: Rachel DeWolfe, Photography.
SILVER: Suzanne Wright, Technical Computer Applications.
BRONZE: Shea Boultenhouse, Restaurant Service; Kevin Kennedy, HVAC Connor Marquez, Digital Cinema Production.
GOLD: Andrew Bissonnette, Telecommunications Cabling; Kaylee Marcus, Cosmetology Under 500 Hours.
BRONZE: Mackenzie Varieur, Medical Math.
GOLD: Lauren Brennan, Cosmetology Under 500 Hours.
SILVER: Brett Yoder, Mobile Robotics Technology.
BRONZE: Althea Smith, Digital Cinema Production.
GOLD: Mikayla Corda, Community Service.
GOLD: James Symmes, Internetworking;
GOLD: Francesca Niro, Basic Health Care Skills.
SILVER: Eric Peterson, Mobile Robotics Technology.
BRONZE: Jonathan Lynch, Urban Search & Rescue.
GOLD: Dylan Phaneuf, Collision Repair Technology.
SILVER: Karina Ramos, Nursing Assisting.
BRONZE: Madeline Phillips, Cosmetology Over 500 Hours.
NON-MEDAL CONTESTS: Stacey Muanya, SkillsUSA Massachusetts State Officer Elect.
GOLD: Adam Burdzel, Automotive Service Technology; Hannah Licarie, Community Service; William Stevens, Computer Programming.
SILVER: Chantel Gaboriault, Culinary Arts; Rebecca Rose, Restaurant Service.
BRONZE: Brittney Hjort, Commercial Baking.
BRONZE: Ella Dehestani, Job Skill Demo A.
GOLD: Dillon Arnold, Urban Search & Rescue; Samantha Cella, Community Service; Jacob O'Donnell, Technical Drafting.
BRONZE: Rachel Arnold, Urban Search & Rescue; David Maas, Information Technology Service.
ELECTED CONTESTS: Nicole Cella, National Voting Delegate; Kayleigh Poudrier, National Voting Delegate; Hailey Baldwin, National Voting Delegate.
GOLD: Carson Hope, Health Occupations Portfolio; Lauren Mahoney, Culinary Arts; Todd Mahoney, Welding.
SILVER: Eric Carkin, Electronics Technology.
ELECTED CONTEST: Carson Hope, Presidential Service Award.
GOLD: Anthony Arrigo, Urban Search & Rescue.
SILVER: Kevin Konieczny, Welding; Josh Renfro, Diesel Equipment Technology.
BRONZE: Parker Grant, Electronics Technology.