Powell High School performs well at state SkillsUSA

Posted 5/10/22

Kalin Hicswa’s skills at handling a job interview may help him land a job in the future, but already, they’re taking him far.  Hicswa’s first-place win in the job interview …

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Powell High School performs well at state SkillsUSA

Posted

Kalin Hicswa’s skills at handling a job interview may help him land a job in the future, but already, they’re taking him far.  Hicswa’s first-place win in the job interview event at the state SkillsUSA competition qualified him to compete in the national SkillsUSA competition next month in Atlanta.

Ten Powell High School students competed at the three-day competition April 11-13 at Casper College, and several of them also brought home top placings in their events.

Carsyn Engesser placed second in early childhood education; Meaghan McKeen placed third in first aid and CPR as well as the quiz bowl team of Victoria Beaudry, Sydney Hull, Maya Landwehr, Liz Peterson, Gabby Thomas and Hicswa, and Lyla Neves placed third in the welding sculpture competition.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization designed to prepare students for work after school through events and competitions focused on career technical education.

Hicswa, who is the PHS SkillsUSA president, said the job interview competition is essentially a mock interview. Students submit a job application, resume and reference list before being interviewed by judges.

The students were accompanied by sponsors Bryce Meyer, industrial arts and welding teacher, and consumer science teacher Kandi Bennett. Both teachers attended the state competition for the first time. 

“What’s unique about SkillsUSA is the broad offerings they have,” Meyer said.

Bennett was happy with the success of her students and looks forward to possible new events her family and health science students could participate in.

Caden Sherman also competed in advanced welding.

Hull, who competed in cake decorating and commercial baking, plans to continue her SkillsUSA career next year. She said she enjoyed being able to meet new people and use the facilities at the Pathways Innovation Center in Casper.

“I’ve never done so much baking in three hours. It was good after that (the competition), I didn’t want to look at food, like, ever. But in the moment, it was good,” Hull said.

As SkillsUSA is expanded at the high school, Meyer, Bennett  and PHS SkillsUSA sponsor Denise Laursen have been keeping a keen eye on students who might excel in SkillsUSA, as well as events that PHS may want to enter in the future.

Laursen has been a part of SkillsUSA at PHS for many years, and she looks forward to building the program at the high school and providing students with resulting career opportunities.

“What we can do for kids for CTE opportunities is incredible,” she said. 

The competitions are fun for students, but Laursen said she believes the most important benefits of SkillsUSA are the experience and long-term connections students can gain.

The National Leadership and Skills Contest will take place June 20-24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Students will have the opportunity to visit more than  200 exhibits at the center.

Powell High School, SkillsUSA

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