Story by Northeast Community College Public Relations
GRAND ISLAND, NE – Northeast Community College students captured a combined 51 medals in a competition that showcases the best career and technical education students in Nebraska. Northeast crowned 17 state champions and swept the competition in two categories, while students in two other categories finished first and second at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held recently at the Heartland Events Center and Fonner Park in Grand Island.
In the competition, students in skilled and technical education science contests work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations such as electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. The philosophy of the championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.
More than 1,600 students competed in more than 140 events.
Northeast took the top three positions in the Computer Programming competition. Derek Mahony, Ericson, was named 2019 Nebraska State SkillsUSA Champion while Nathan Cech,Columbus, placed second, and Ahmed Abdulkadir, South Sioux City, was third.
Northeast also had the top three finishes in Industrial Motor Control. Garret Reynolds, Wayne, was named the 2019 Nebraska State SkillsUSA Champion, while Lyle Cate, Valentine, was second, and Andrew Rasmussen, Albion, was third.
In the Diesel competition, Tanner Knight, Ord, was named the 2019 Nebraska State SkillsUSA Champion, while Jack Compton, Pierce, was second.
In Internetworking, Hayley Lazo, Omaha, was named the 2019 Nebraska State SkillsUSA Champion while Anthony Ketelsen, Norfolk, was second.
Other gold medal winners from Northeast include Preston Dickau, Atkinson, in Automotive Refinishing; Joseph Stellato, Walton, Automotive Service Technician; Connor Wuebben,Hartington, Electrical Construction Wiring; Anthony Buresh, David City, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC); Kody Salak, Columbus, Information Technology Services; and Riley Gomez, Rosalie, Technical Drafting.
Clay Stepp, Wolbach, earned a silver medal in Welding.
Students earning bronze medals include Tanner Stelling, Milford, Carpentry; Michael Zavala-Taylor, Lyons, Collision Repair; Ty Shaw, Lincoln, Electrical Construction Wiring; Dalton Smutny, Meadow Grove, Masonry; and Jacob Mann, Winside, Plumbing.
In Audio/Radio Production, Trevor Dempster, O’Neill, and Sam Knoll, McCook, were named 2019 Nebraska State SkillsUSA Champions, while Kelsey Bigelow, Milligan, and Kaleb Zamora,Pierce, were second.
Other gold medalists include the team of Luke Jacobsen, Neligh, Emma Meisenheimer, Hartington, Madison Siedschlag, Pierce, and Noah Wilcox, Norfolk, in Broadcast News Production; Alexa Dougherty, O’Neill, Trevor Dozler, David City, and Caleb Hartmann, Fremont, in Crime Scene Investigation; Dylan Eisenmann, Madison, and Gene Kumm, Osmond, in Mechtronics; Kyle Lentz, Hartington, and Travis Munyer, Norfolk, Mobile Robotics; Joe Walsh, Ravenna, and Miles Bossman, Crofton, Urban Search & Rescue; and Matthew Gates, Hooper, Trenton Kluck, Aurora, and Dylan Ladehoff, North Bend, Welding Fabrication.
Silver medalists include Max Dederman, Norfolk, Austin Duhsmann, West Point, Zach Haburchak, Ewing, and Justin Ostrom, Burwell, Teamworks; and Austin Graves, Mount Vernon, SD, and Mark Lange, Crofton, Video Production.
Northeast instructors Brian Anderson, Dave Beaudette, Curtis Brandt, Richard Chrisman, Lynnette Frey, Ryan Hobza, Anthony Hoffman, Tom Hoile, John Knapp, Matt McCarthy, Michael McCarthy, Doug McKibbon, Tony Milenkovich, Bowdie Otte, Brian Rastede, Eric Roskeland, Phil Schimonitz, and Brad Vogt attended the competition as advisors. They were joined by Lyle Kathol vice president of educational services, Monty Johnson, dean of applied technology, and Shanelle Grudzinski, associate dean of applied technology.
As state champions, 28 Northeast gold medal students have qualified for the 55th SkillsUSA National Championships, in Louisville, KY, June 24-28. More than 18,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners are expected to participate in the weeklong event.