WESTFORD – Nashoba Valley Technical High School captured three silver medals at the recent SkillsUSA National Conference, held in Atlanta, Ga.
“While we knew our students were skilled in their areas of expertise and received excellent instruction from their teachers, we were also aware they were facing the best competitors from all 50 states and several U.S. territories, so we tempered our expectations,” Principal Jeremy Slotnick said. “In the end, our students performed incredibly well.”
In all, seven students qualified for the National Conference after earning gold medals at the SkillsUSA State Conference.
Sophomore Aurora Condor of Chelmsford and sophomore Connor McCall of Pepperell earned a silver medal in Audio-Radio Production, in which teams had to create a two-minute news story about how high gas prices affect inflation, as well as two commercials that would be featured during the news story. There was also a written exam.
“When I found out we qualified for nationals, I was filled with excitement and I knew the work has just begun,” Connor said. “Then I knew we had to do our best work and make sure all of the little stuff was in order. When I walked into the State Farm arena on the awards night, the emotions started hitting me that I was there doing this. Once I saw my name up on the screen, I jumped up because I never thought a kid from Pepperell would be able to achieve something like this.
“Getting the medal was one of the best feelings of my life because everyone in that arena was looking at me, and I knew the hard work paid off and the sleepless nights were finally over,” he added.
Junior Kaitlyn Landers of Westford took silver in Cosmetology, during which competitors had to role-play as though they were employed in the field, coloring hair, styling an up-do to best highlight the color, and performing three haircuts. There were also written and oral exams.
It was the second year Kaitlyn competed in SkillsUSA but the first time at the Nationals.
“It has been such an incredible experience, not only qualifying to compete at a national level, but to bring home a silver medal,” Kaitlyn said. “Before Nationals, I was proud of my work, without a doubt, but after Nationals, I have this newfound confidence that has truly helped me and will continue helping me do what I love and love what I do.”
2022 graduate Matthew Lynch of Westford captured silver in Industrial Motor Control, during which students had to read a circuit diagram and install a motor-control circuit to meet National Electrical Code and industry standards.
A team of 2022 graduates that included Dominic Carbone of Townsend, Frank Horn of Townsend and Emily MacNeil of Dunstable placed fifth in Career Pathways Showcase.
“Not only did our students demonstrate great skill and professionalism in their areas of study,” Slotnick said, “but they were also role models in how they conducted themselves throughout the week. They were kind to other competitors, demonstrated maturity and responsibility in all interactions with chaperones and one another, arrived early for every meeting, and had great patience whenever we faced a setback in our travels.”