Riverland students place well in national competition

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Five Riverland Community College student SkillsUSA members competed at the SkillsUSA 2009 National Leadership and Skills Conference Championships in Kansas City, Mo. on June 25.  This spring, these students competed in the Minnesota Skills USA Championships. Gold medalists at the state level advance to compete at the national level.

Sergio Hernandez, of Albert Lea, who competed in extemporaneous speech, placed 11th; Brandon Nelson, of Albert Lea, who competed in prepared speech, placed ninth; Dylan Kuntz, of Austin, who competed in automotive refinishing technician, placed ninth; and Ivan Okhin, of Austin, and Matthew Steiner, of Austin, who both competed in Web design, placed fourth. SkillsUSA advisors Jason Merritt, Larry Peterson and Brenda Mandt accompanied the students.

Four of the students received Skills Points certificates. Students who score high in their category and also cover specific professional criteria compile points towards these certificates. Kuntz, Hernandez, Okhin and Steiner earned enough points to receive Skills Points awards.

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SkillsUSA is a leadership organization for students in career and technical programs in high school and college. Students participate in leadership and skills competition at local, state and national levels where they build and reinforce technical skills, self-confidence, work attitudes and communications skills. The contests were held in the following nine career and technical education cluster areas: arts and communication; construction; health services; legal and protective services; hospitality; human services, manufacturing; science, engineering and technology; and transportation.