North Point shines at re­gional Skill­sUSA Com­pe­ti­tion

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­

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.

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