WPHS Students Win At SkillsUSA Tournament

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it did make a positive experience for Wheeling Park High School students.

Four members of the school’s SkillsUSA chapter traveled to Charleston last weekend to compete at the SkillsUSA state tournament. SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

“SkillsUSA and the Career Technical classes prepare students for the workforce. They’re learning real life skills,” said Carolin Dillon, who directs the broadcast technology program at WPHS with Scott Nolte.

Junior Alison Irvin won a gold medal in the prepared speech category and will spend June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo., competing in the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference.

“That was definitely the best part … realizing my hard work paid off,” said Irvin, who prepared her competition speech a month in advance.

Irvin said looks forward to meeting new people from around the country during the upcoming conference.

Senior Dalton Haas earned a silver medal in extemporaneous speaking. When composing his speech within the provided time limit of five minutes, Haas relied on experiences from the technical class in which he is currently enrolled.

“That’s really what SkillsUSA is all about: Preparing students for the world of work,” he said.

Junior June Braunlich brought home a bronze medal in the job interview category.

During the mock interview, Braunlich “felt very comfortable” answering questions about her resume, strengths and weaknesses.

ProStart senior Beth Myers also competed during the state tournament.

Myers, whose career technical teacher is WPHS SkillsUSA chapter advisor Jill Hillberry, said the culinary arts category was challenging but did prepare her for the time management skill needed in the restaurant business.

“Being put under pressure definitely makes you push yourself,” said Myers.