Twenty Career & Technical students earn regional honors at SkillsUSA competition

Twenty Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education students showed their in-depth knowledge of the skilled trades and earned medals at the regional SkillsUSA competition Thursday, March 17 in Schenectady and Albany.

The seven first-place winners and many other medal winners earned their way to the state SkillsUSA competition in Syracuse next month.

Emily Tice wearing a black and red SkillsUSA jacket shakes the hand of an individual with a red SkillsUSA jacket holding a medal.
Emily Tice, a Culinary Arts student from Guilderlandl, receives an award for baking.

The student competitors, who hail from school districts as far-reaching as Bethlehem and Cobleskill-Richmondville, showed expertise in areas as diverse as carpentry and commercial baking, diesel engine repair and network cabling. They competed against their peers from Questar III and several other BOCES during a day filled with events at Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) and the Career & Technical education Center – Albany Campus.

The state SkillsUSA competition will be conducted in late-April at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Winners of that event will advance to the national competition in June.

“Congratulations to our scholars. They all did a fantastic job and we are very proud of them,” said Deb Toy, advisor at the SkillsUSA organization on the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus.

Shelette Pleat, principal of the Career and Technical Education Albany Campus and a regional SkillsUSA administrator, told the SkillsUSA competitors from across the region that they are helping to change the world’s opinion about the skilled trades and a career and technical education.

“When you are a part of SkillsUSA, you are helping to change the narrative about what it means to have a career and technical education. Be proud of that,” she said.

Angelina Depina Desorbo wearing a black and red SkillsUSA jacket wears a medal
Angelina Depina-Desorbo, a Cosmetology student from Duanesburg, receives a medal for her work.

Students said they are excited by their medals and many are looking forward to the state competition.

“It pretty surreal. I am looking forward to going to states and exceeding my limits,” said Demari Perkins, a first place winner in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition. Perkins is a Network Cabling Tech/Smart Home Technology junior attending BOCES from Watervliet Junior-Senior High School.

“I am pretty excited about winning,” said Sadie Plant, who took first place in the Advertising Design competition. “I learned a lot and I hope when going to states I can learn a lot more by learning from the other kids competing.”
Plant is a junior in the Digital Media program from Berne-Knox-Westerlo (BKW).

“It feels good to win. I definitely got a lot out of what I put into it and I plan to go more in-depth when I get to states,” added Ruby Sutphin, who took first place in the Job Skill Demo competition. She is a senior in the Cosmetology program from Shenendehowa who will attend Utica University in the fall for a degree in business.

This year’s regional SkillsUSA medalists and prize winners, their home school district and the competition they placed in are as follows:

First Place

  • Allyson Bates, Cosmetology Senior, Cosmetology, Berne-Knox-Westerlo (BKW) Central School District
  • Emily Burdikoff, Photography Competition, Digital Media Program, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (BHBL)
  • Kyle Dafeldecker, Carpentry, Construction/Heavy Equipment, Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District (CRCS)
  • Demari Perkins, Extemporaneous Speaking, Network Cabling Tech/Smart Home Technology, Watervliet
  • Sadie Plant, Advertising Design, Digital Media, Berne-Knox-Westerlo (BKW)
  • Ruby Sutphin, Job Skill Demo, Cosmetology, Shenendehowa
  • Emily Tice, Commercial Baking, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Tech, Guilderland

Second Place

An individual with a red SkillsUSA jacket in the act of placing a medal around SkillsUSA student Gino Isabella
Gino Isabella, a junior Network Cabling Tech/Smart Home Technology student from Mohonasen, receives a medal for the Job Interview competition.

  • Landen Dayton, Auto Vehicle Maintenance Basic, Automotive Service Technology, Schenectady
  • Andrew Trowel, Carpenter Assistant Basic, Carpentry Services, Bethlehem
  • Gino Isabella, Job Interview, Network Cabling Tech/Smart Home Technology, Mohonasen
  • Ava Koonz, Nurse Assisting, Two-Year Sequence of Health Careers, South Colonie
  • Blae Kinzie, Prepared Speech, Machining and Manufacturing Technology, Mohonasen

Third Place

  • Robert Conners, Culinary Arts, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Tech, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS)
  • Pedro “Mateo” Sanchez, Food Prep Basic, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Tech, Guilderland
  • Angelina Depina-Desorbo Cosmetology Junior, Cosmetology, Duanesburg

Fourth Place

  • Tucker Cherry, Auto Service Technology, Auto Service Technology, Niskayuna
  • Ruby Culletto, Commercial Baking, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Tech, Sharon Springs

Fifth Place

  • Elaina McGrath, Cosmetology Senior, Cosmetology, Bethlehem
  • Tristyn Bushey, Culinary Arts, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Tech, Shenendehowa
  • Nicole Forbes, Job Interview, Digital Media Design, Duanesburg