DERRY — Pinkerton Academy students are heading to the SkillsUSA national championship in Kansas City after securing the most medals of any participating school in the recent state competition.
Pinkerton students captured 16 medals overall, including five gold medals, at the contest last month at Sanborn Regional High School.
SkillsUSA brings together industry leaders and teachers to help students build skills for the work force, according to administrators. Students compete in such events as building construction, computers, culinary arts and prepared speech.
Pinkerton students did especially well in the computer category, winning three gold medals. Mike Eno, a computer and technology teacher at the school, said he sends a total of 12 students to the state competition each year. To select the contestants, Eno said he looks for well-rounded students who have a good attitude, work ethic and leadership capabilities, in addition to good grades. He also holds an informal class contest.
“So there is more to it than just a good GPA,” said Eno, who is also a SkillsUSA advisor.
Two of the gold medal winners from Pinkerton from Eno’s class, Hunter Morris and Zachary Orlando, recently discussed the contest and what they did to earn gold.
Morris said he competed in the telecommunications category, installing coaxial and Internet cable and working on a device known as a “punchdown.” Morris said there were judges for each of the categories he competed in and he was given some challenging situations to overcome. In one instance, he was given a section of cable that wasn’t working properly and he had to correctly diagnose the problem.
Orlando competed in the Internet working category and had to create a crossover network with Internet cable, connecting a PC to a router. He also created something known as a LAN network by connecting two PCs together using a router and a switch. He said the written test was the most challenging aspect of the competition.
The SkillsUSA national championships will be held on Wednesday June 25 and Thursday, June 26 in H. Roe Bartle Hall and Municipal Auditorium of the Kansas City Convention Center.
Other Pinkerton Gold medal winners included: Tyler Smith, Computer Applications; Robert Dufour, Cabinet Making; Elizabeth Richardson, Prepared Speech.
Silver & Bronze Medals: Chris Antoine, Silver, Computer Maintenance; Patrick Keefe, Bronze, Computer Maintenance; Wesley Lee, Silver, Computer Applications; Jacob McKechnie, Bronze, Computer Applications; Michael Gosselin, Silver, Internetworking; Nicholas Tveter Collins, Silver, Cabinet Making; Randy Martinelli, Bronze, Cabinet Making; Dylan Beam, Silver, Carpentry; Mark Silk, Silver, Industrial Motors; Mark Edwards, Silver, Residential Wiring; and Sky-Lyn Wrenn Bronze, Power Equipment.