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Okefenokee Tech Students Win at State SkillsUSA Competition

Ten Okefenokee Technical College (OTC) students competed at the SkillsUSA Georgia Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta March 13 – 15, 2014. The competitions, referred to as championships, allow students to take the skills, knowledge and experience they have gained in the classrooms and labs to a higher level. Contests are based on industry standards, and business leaders design and judge the competition.

Representing OTC were Jacob Carswell, Chris Ellis, Felix Lara, Timothey Lemley, Cindy Ratliff, Garrett Ratliff, Katrina Rucker, LeAnna Thornton, Lindsey Williamson, and Lee Yokum.

OTC students earning a medal were Jacob Carswell, bronze medal, 3rd place in Telecommunications Cabling; Chris Ellis, bronze medal, 3rd place in Computer Maintenance Technology; Leanna Thornton, bronze medal, 3rd place in Job Interview; and Lee Yokum, gold medal, 1st place in Extemporaneous speaking. As a gold medalist, Yokum will advance to the National Championships and compete at the national conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in June.

“Our students were competitive and motivated,” commented Eddie Murray, OTC SkillsUSA advisor. “They all are commended for their efforts. We had a great group, and I am proud of them and proud of what we accomplished.”

The event was held primarily at the Georgia International Convention Center and Atlanta Gateway Marriott Hotel, but competitions took place all across the metro area and beyond. Members of the OTC SkillsUSA chapter agreed that the conference theme, “SkillsUSA: Champions at Work – Educated and Skilled to Lead America” was appropriate. They competed against some of the most skilled and best educated individuals in Georgia, over 1,800 contestants.

The Georgia Championships are supported by over a 1,000 business and industry partners who give of their time and expertise to support the contests and expo. The total in-kind and monetary contributions from business and industry exceeded $750,000.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. The organization sponsors the SkillsUSA Championships annually to recognize the achievements of career and technical education students and to encourage them to strive for excellence in their chosen occupations.

Okefenokee Technical College SkillsUSA advisors Eddie Murray and Doug Furman accompanied students to the state conference. OTC electronics instructor Thomas Wesley also attended the conference and demonstrated support for students. Murray and Furman, along with SkillsUSA advisor Debra Moody, would like to thank Skills members who participated in competitions and all OTC instructors and staff who support the organization.

SkillsUSA State 2014

Photo: Skills USA State 2014
Okefenokee Tech’s SkillsUSA organization fared well at the 2014 State Leadership and Skills Competition in Atlanta.  SkillsUSA advisors Eddie Murray  (front, left) and Doug Furman (right) congratulated those who competed: Chris Ellis (front row, L to R), Bacon County; Timothey Lemley, Charlton County; Cindy Ratliff, Charlton County; Katrina Rucker, Pierce County; Lindsey Williamson, Ware County; (back row, L to R), Jacob Carswell, Glynn County; Garrett Ratliff, Charlton County; LeAnna Thornton, Ware County; Felix Lara, Pierce County; and Lee Yokum, Bacon County.



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