Six Penn College Students Advance to SkillsUSA Nationals

Published 04.10.2008

Student News

Members of Pennsylvania College of Technology's medal-winning SkillsUSA team gather with faculty advisers upon their return to campus from state competition in Hershey.Five Pennsylvania College of Technology students earned gold medals at the recent SkillsUSA Pennsylvania Leadership and Skills Conference, advancing them to nationals from June 22-28 in Kansas City, Mo. They will be joined by an aviation student who qualified in an earlier competition.

The students were among the 15 Penn College competitors who returned with medals from the statewide vocational competition, which was held April 2-4 at the Hershey Convention Center. Six students placed second including a three-member team in the Automated Manufacturing Technology category and four others earned third-place honors.

The college's first-place winners, their hometowns and their competition categories are Sarah J. Dries, Milton, Food and Beverage; Matthew R. Ernst, Hanover, Collision Repair Technology; Carl F. Gravely, Arona, Industrial Motor Controls; Matthew D. Romanowski, Bethlehem, Masonry; and Westley A. Smith, Mifflinburg, Welding.

Accompanying them to Kansas City will be Neil F. Baughman, of Hershey, who won a national berth in an earlier competition at Penn College's Lumley Aviation Center. There is no aviation category at the state level in Pennsylvania, so the winner of the local competition advances.

Among second-place winners were David M. Huston, Greensburg; Michael A. Love, Lancaster; and Christopher J. Schaffer, DuBois; members of an Automated Manufacturing Technology team. Other silver medalists were James K. Hanjaras, Montrose, Culinary Arts; Annie M. Kinney, Milton, Commercial Baking; and Nathan A. Ritter, Middleburg, Precision Machining.

Third-place finishers were Killian J. Bottorf, Mill Hall, Technical Drafting; Matthew W. Ilgenfritz, York, Automotive Refinishing; Matthew J. Kwisnek, Armagh, Diesel Equipment Technology; and Nicholas R. Rieber, Harrisburg, Automotive ServiceTechnology.

Also competing for Penn College were Kathryn M. Crater, Julian, Preschool Teaching Assistant; Rebecca E. Deist, Manheim, Job Skills Demo A; and Rob D. Middleswarth, Middleburg, Residential Wiring.

Faculty advisers for the college's student competitors are Edward L. Roadarmel, assistant professor of drafting and computer aided design; Roy H. Klinger, instructor of collision repair; and Larry B. Leavitt, associate professor of automotive technology.

This year's competitors bring to 64 the number of Penn College students that have advanced to the national level; 17 of them returned as medalists.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving 285,000 teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health careers.

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