Almost by surprise, CHS team going to national competition

Gordon Woods / Journal
Posted 6/5/24

 

CLINTON — Students of the Clinton High School SkillsUSA team recently surprised themselves with their competition performance at the state level.   Now, they’re headed to …

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Almost by surprise, CHS team going to national competition

Posted

 

CLINTON — Students of the Clinton High School SkillsUSA team recently surprised themselves with their competition performance at the state level.  Now, they’re headed to Atlanta, Ga. to compete nationally.

The five-student team will compete at the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference, held in Atlanta, Ga. June 24-28.

“SkillsUSA has all different kinds of competitions,” said Clinton teacher and SkillsUSA coordinator, Fred Knap.  “So, we’re sort of an FFA but for anything that’s not agriculture.”

At the state level, there are approximately 120 skills and leadership competitions in SkillsUSA.

SkillsUSA is a national workforce development organization representing approximately 400,000 technical education students and teachers at middle schools, high schools and colleges.  Several Clinton students have landed apprenticeships through the program.

Knap’s students decided this year to try competing in “Quiz Bowl,” similar to Scholastic Bowl, at the SkillsUSA state level, but at first didn’t take it too seriously.

The students entered Quiz Bowl, “sort of on a lark and didn’t do that much prep for it,” Knap said.

“Several of them are on the Scholastic Bowl team as well,” Knap said.  “They thought this (Quiz Bowl) would be kind of fun to do, and they thought it would be funny because I also run that competition for the state.”

As it turned out, to the students’ surprise, they finished 2nd in the state out of 18 teams competing.

“So, they did extremely well,” Knap said.  “I think they kind of shocked themselves, and I was surprised, too.”

The first-place team had students competing in other categories, which didn’t leave enough students competing in Quiz Bowl.  This created an opening for the Clinton team to compete at the national level in Atlanta.

“As the alternate, we were offered the opportunity to go to Atlanta,” Knap said. 

Quiz Bowl covers a variety of subjects, including general knowledge and current events questions.  There also are professional development questions, which include leadership aspects such as employability, how to be a professional and questions about the organization.

The Atlanta conference will host all the winners from the various state conferences. 

“It’s a huge gathering of all the SkillsUSA across the country,” Knap said.

“We’ll get together and do some practice,” he said.  “I’m not so much concerned about their academic performance, but we need to study some of the professional development aspects and make sure we’re watching current events developments and stay on top of what’s happening in the world.”

Unfortunately, member of the Quiz Bowl team, student Carter Blankenship, won’t be able to compete in Atlanta because he ships out for military basic training before the conference.

Haley Wilham will replace Blankenship on the team and will accompany other team members Brock Newberry, Liam Harney, Owen Rexshell and Patrick Morge.