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RCCC students bring home medals in skills competition

SALISBURY – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students came away from this year’s national SkillsUSA competition with medals in fields ranging from dental assisting to plumbing, with Ashton White making history as she became the first woman to capture two consecutive national championships in masonry.

The college also was recognized as a Quality Chapter of Excellence and captured the President’s Volunteer Service Award for the second year in a row, thanks to more than 300 hours of volunteer work by dental assisting students in the past year. Rowan-Cabarrus is the only school in North Carolina to receive the service award.

Along with White, other students winning medals at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky, were Madison Curlee, silver, dental assisting; Alex Myers, bronze, heating, ventilation and air conditioning; Brent Offenberger, bronze, plumbing; Cody Hill, bronze, electrical construction wiring; and Chris Basinger, fifth place, sheet metal.

“We are so proud of all of these talented students. College is about more than just going to class. We encourage students to get involved in organizations like SkillsUSA, which can take their education and career prospects to the next level,” said college President Carol S. Spalding.

Students had their most successful showing to date at this year’s state SkillsUSA competition. Along with those who competed nationally, the following students won awards at the state level:

• Silver: Cayce Magallanes, dental assisting; Latthaphum McDonald, job skills open.
• Bronze: Rowan-Cabarrus Health Knowledge Bowl team of radiography students Christina Alnajjar, Johnathan Head, Suvith Matt Thasy and Christina Wood; Donte Coleman, job skills open; Karunaker Donuru, HVAC; Carrie Honbarger, dental assisting; Brandon Price, T-shirt design; and Mark Livengood, high school welding.
• Fourth place: Brooke Urena, pin design.

• Fifth place: Brianna Koehler, dental assisting; Joseph Howie, electrical construction wiring.

Other Rowan-Cabarrus students participating in the state competition were Julian Amaraz and Aaron Mims, welding; Ashley O’Neill, dental assisting; Vince Bryant, graphic arts; and Angel Morales and Marshall Smith, automotive.

“Our students performed extremely well, and we were pleased to hear so many Rowan-Cabarrus names called during the awards ceremonies,” said Jon Crockett, air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technologies instructor. “SkillsUSA is a great program to help students prepare to succeed in their careers and develop character, leadership and teamwork skills.”

This year’s Rowan-Cabarrus SkillsUSA advisers are Brandon Hoffner and Lori Safrit, welding; Kelly McCowan and Melissa Bell, radiography; Meredith Parker and Amanda Myers, dental assisting; Jon Crockett, Joe Christie, Brian Barefoot, Kevin Joines, Vixiene Keovilay and Larry Newcomb, AHR; Aaron Tallman, graphic arts; James Hauss, electrical; Thomas Atwell and Carl Smith, automotive; and Kao Vang, building trades.

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers and industry leaders working to ensure that America has a skilled workforce by providing students with opportunities to gain personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. Career and technical education students compete in more than 100 hands-on trade, technical and leadership contests.

To learn more about SkillsUSA, visit www.SkillsUSAnc.org. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

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