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Success in SkillsUSA


Despite the unusual adjustments made to accommodate for health regulations due to the pandemic, the Bearcat SkillsUSA competitors were prepared to give their all and face the competition head on. All 77 students representing Paso rose to the challenge and managed to advance to state competition. 

SkillsUSA is a competition for students to showcase the skills they have learned in their chosen path and how they are able to apply them to real world situations. Paso High offers many pathways to prepare students for the workforce called Career Technical Education. These pathways include healthcare, carpentry, childcare, auto, and computer science classes.

The purpose of SkillsUSA is to train a skilled workforce and provide all participants with the opportunity and tools to succeed. On the SkillsUSA website their mission statement is: “SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. We improve the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Our vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member the opportunity for success.” 

It was Junior Gwenyth Lemon’s first year competing in SkillsUSA, and she won gold in Related Technical Math. She prepared for this competition by studying the tests from previous years, and will continue to do so in preparation for state. “To me, going to state means that I have the opportunity to learn, try my best, and invest in the competition more. I’m also really excited to see other skills and competitions besides the one I will be participating in,” Lemon said. 

Sophomore Anthony Saracini won gold for Motorcycle Service Technology. He studied for about two weeks in preparation for the competition, reading a book about motorcycles his teacher gave him and studying and memorizing all of the tools and parts he had to identify for the test. “SkillsUSA will prepare you for the world, while being an amazing experience for you,” Saraceni says. He is preparing for state by studying the motorcycle further and is currently rebuilding a motorcycle in autoclass, one of the many CTE pathways offered to Bearcats.

Junior Eden Arnold’s team won gold in CPS Health Services Cluster. They worked endlessly to perfect their project and dedicated countless hours to preparing for the competition. They continue to prepare for state by revising old notes, slideshows, and scrolling through articles for any additional information that may be needed. Arnold is excited for state and says, “I’m really excited for state, I’ve heard great things about it and am proud of my team for having the opportunity to accomplish the goal of competing at state level competition.”

The healthcare field is very broad, and Paso has many strong teams representing them in SkillsUSA. Junior Savannah Rickard’s team faced fierce competition in the Health Knowledge Bowl, but managed to place 4th in the region and are excited to move on to state. The four person team prepared by reviewing all of their class notes, doing quizlets found online, and quizzing each other. This prepared them for the 40 question written exam and the live section with 20 questions. Rickard says the competition was stressful, but worth it because they advanced to state, “and even though the competition was stressful, I was pretty relaxed throughout the whole thing because I knew my teammates had my back.”

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