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Tewksbury's Benning Wins Gold For Design In SkillsUSA

Mar 23, 2015 02:13PM ● Published by Bill Gilman

Shawsheen Tech senior Hannah Benning stands with Superintendent/Director Charles Lyons and SkillsUSA advisors Alison Ouellette and Heidi Lloyd after winning a gold medal for her pin design. COURTESY PHOTO

(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the PR office of Shawsheen Tech.)

Hannah Benning, a senior from Tewksbury majoring in Design and Visual Communications at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, has earned one of the first SkillsUSA gold medals for 2015 in a statewide design competition. 

SkillsUSA, a student leadership organization, selected her design for a trading pin that will be worn by students representing Massachusetts at a national competition.
Students from across the state competed, with more than 200 designs being submitted. 

Benning’s design features a silhouette of the Boston skyline featuring the Zakim Bridge on a red and white flag-style background. The design also incorporates the tools of the many trades that are offered at career and technical schools such as Shawsheen Tech. 

Benning said she did a little research to help her come up with her idea.

“I looked at last year’s winning design (by Shawsheen student Alex Hamilton of Billerica) and a couple of other references and put them all together and came up with the design,” she said.

 “It’s very exciting,” said Alison Ouellette, a DVC instructor and a SkillsUSA advisor at Shawsheen. “She definitely followed the creative process and went through multiple edits, showed multiple instructors and refined it as needed. She was very dedicated to the task and worked really hard.”

Benning laughs when remembering the day that she learned of her first-place finish.

“When the teachers came into the classroom and told me that I ended up getting gold,” she said with a laugh. “I almost broke my glasses. I was cleaning my glasses at the time.”

In addition to winning the gold medal in the pin design contest, Benning also submitted a design for the state T-shirt. The shirt design earned Benning a silver medal. 

Benning’s pin design was created in Adobe Illustrator, one of the programs that the DVC students become proficient at during their time at Shawsheen. Benning is planning on attending Northern Essex College in the fall and then continuing on to an art school to finish her degree in fine art and design.
The winning pin will now be imprinted Official Massachusetts State Trading Pin that will be worn by every one of the 2,500 students and advisors at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference held in Marlborough in May, as well as worn by students representing Massachusetts at the National Leadership Conference and SkillsUSA Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, in June. 

Each state creates a pin and the goal of competitors is the collect all 50-plus pins.
By winning the competition, Benning has earned a trip to the national conference where she will join the other 6,000 competitors from across the country. During the conference, Benning will compete with winning student designers from other states. 

Judges will select the best pin design from across the 50 states.
During state and national SkillsUSA competitions, career and technical education students will compete hands-on in 98 different trade, technical and leadership fields.

Ouellette said that the school’s back-to-back trips to national for the pin design competition, Benning this year and Hamilton last year, has developed plenty of excitement at the school.

“All of my students are really excited about it,” she said. “Alex has such a positive experience [at nationals] that he really has inspired students.”


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Schools Shawsheen Tech SkillsUSA Trading pins

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