OHS students win awards at SkillsUSA competitions

OHS students who compteted in last month’s SkillsUSA competition were, front row, from left: Lexi Tiedt, Sam Derrick and Hannah Folmer; second row, from left: Cameron Mueller, Aaron Rogers, Joey Zuehlke and Michael Wells; back row, from left: Stacy Anderson, Jack Fitzgerald, Teagan Gilbertson, Zack Zuehlke and Luke Eisele.

Students win awards at SkillsUSA

Oregon High School students won several awards at a pair of SkillsUSA competitions held in the past few months. And they’re preparing for state competition in Madison in May.

Skills USA promotes employable skills by providing an intra-curricular program that integrates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) into school classrooms, OHS art teacher and adviser Michael Derrick wrote in an email to the Observer.

“Skills USA strives to provide quality ‘real-life’ educational experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development,” he wrote. “It builds and reinforces self-confidence, work attitudes as well as communication skills.”

In December, more than 300 students from the area met at Fort Atkinson High School, going head-to-head in a variety of skills tests. Winners in Round 1 were: Jack Fitzgerald (second), Power Equipment Technology; Jacob Lorenz (second), CO2 Car Dragster; the team of Zack Zuehlke and Teagan Gilbertson (third), Urban Search and Rescue; Samantha Derrick (first), and Hannah Folmer (second) represented OHS in Photography.

Regional competition was in late January at Southwest Technical College, where 11 OHS students competed against 230 students from around the southern section of the state. Oregon medalists were: Stacy Anderson (first), Electronics; Aaron Rogers, Joe Zuehlke and Cameron Mueller (first), Team Design Challenge; Zuehlke and Gilbertson (first), Urban Search and Rescue; and Fitzgerald (third), Power Equipment Technology. Oregon swept the podium in Photography with Folmer (first), Derrick,(second), and Lexi Tiedt (third).

Instructor Ryan Stace said the competitions showcase students’ aptitude at problem-solving and critical thinking, which will be valued in their future education and career endeavors.

“It (Skills USA) is also a wonderful opportunity for teachers to work together and introduce cross-curricular lessons and abilities related to their specific subject area,” he wrote.

The state competition is expected to feature more than 1,800 middle and high school students, according to its website. The national competition is in June in Kentucky.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.