North Point shines at regional SkillsUSA Competition
During the school year there are various competitions held in order to test the knowledge base and skill set of students in the local public school system.
This past Saturday’s Maryland SkillsUSA Region 4 Competition brought out many of the brightest students in Southern Maryland. North Point High School hosted the competition and also walked away with top awards in almost ev- er y categor y.
On Feb. 4, Maryland SkillsUSA Region 4 — which is comprised of Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties — had many high schools competing in the competition including North Point High School, Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, and Calvert Career and Technology Academy.
According to Cheryl K. Davis, vice principal at North Point, all of the SkillsUSA competitions are designed to evaluate individual and/or team preparation for employment and recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in their respective CTE Program (Career Technology Education).
“For our kids this is their Super Bowl, so to speak,” Davis said. “Whether they win or lose, they all
of the work they put into the competition. This is their area of concentra- tion and opportunity to compete and to shine.”
More than 200 students competed in 21 different contests such as advertising design, auto service technology, carpentry, culinary arts, cosmetol- ogy, crime scene investigation, electrical construction, first aid/CPR, industrial motor control, information technology, internetworking, nurse assisting, technical draft- ing and welding.
According to Alexis Marshall, 17, a SkillsUSA officer from North Point High School, every student begins with a writ- ten test that can be used as a tie breaker if any two competitors have the same scores. After the written test, each competitor goes in individually or as a team to compete.
“The competition has been happening all week long and [Saturday] is the last of the competition,” Marshall said. “All the skills that we’re using in this competition — first aid, nursing assisting — they’re all skills that we’re familiar with because we’re using them every other day.”
Christopher Gustafson, a Charles County Sher- iff’s Office crime scene processor, was a judge in the CSI contest. He judged contestants based on the competitor’s accuracy of evidence and how meticulous they were during the crime scene investigation process.
“[During the test scenario] the suspect might have touched a mason jar that was left at the scene of the crime, so [the students] collected the ma- son jars as evidence and moved it to the process- ing area. The student had to lift the print and match it to the suspect’s finger- prints. One person works on the report, one does a composite sketch and the other lifts the finger- prints. They had to match it to one of four choices of fingerprints,” said sher- iff’s office Pfc. Raymond Brooks.
Cpl. Travis Yates of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said he was very impressed with the CSI first place winners on Team B: Brandon Rodriquez, Ethan Snider and Jackie Zheng.
Zheng, 16, a junior at North Point studying CSI, said this was his first year in the Maryland SkillsU- SA Region 4 Competition and his group was truly excited to have found the correct suspect after test- ing fingerprints from the “scene of the crime.”
“I fingerprinted [the mason jar] twice actual- ly ... I had to debate with myself whether it was suspect three or four, so I asked my teammates and we came up with correct suspect,” Zheng said. “Me and my teammates we have really good team- work and we cooperate a lot. I think that made it easier for us.”
Daniel Walsh, 18, a North Point senior, won second place in the automotive service technology competition. During his competition he had to fix a brake lathe and rotors, complete a com- pression test on the cylin- ders in an engine and use a scan tool to diagnose problems on a car. His goal is to become a Gen- eral Motors mechanic af- ter graduation.
“[The competition] wasn’t too difficult because we practice this stuff for like a year,” Walsh said. “It feels pretty good to win second place. I have accomplished something that a lot of my other peers can’t do ... I got to see what I need to work on and see what other competitors are doing.”
First aid/CPR judge Barry Howard, an EMT with the Charles County Mobile Intensive Care Unit, said the competitors in the first aid/CPR contest are judged in a medical crisis scenario to help judges see how much knowledge the students
Above left, Jackie Zheng, 16, a junior at North Point High School studying crime scene investigation lifts a fingerprint from a mason jar at the Maryland SkillsUSA Region 4 Competition on Saturday. Above right, North Point High School student Lexi Rye, 15, performs CPR on an infant doll during the SkillsUSA first aid/CPR contest on Saturday.
Above left, During the SkillsUSA regional contest on Saturday, First Aid/CPR judge Barry Howard, an EMT with the Charles County Mobile Intensive Care Unit, judged the performance of Jade Collins, 16, a student at Chopticon High School. Above right, North Point High School student Lexi Rye, 15, performs CPR on an infant doll during the SkillsUSA first aid/CPR contest on Saturday.
Jackie Zheng, 16, a CSI competitor from North Point High School, was very excited when he and teammates Brandon Rodriquez and Ethan Snider identified the correct suspect by matching fingerprints.