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Your Tewksbury Today

Shawsheen Students Impress At SkillsUSA Nationals

Jul 22, 2016 03:01PM ● By Theresa Gilman

Nationals Group

(Editor's Note: this content was provided by Shawsheen Valley Technical High School Community Services.)

BILLERICA – Students from Shawsheen Valley Technical High School made the trip to the SkillsUSA national championships in Louisville, Kentucky in June, and once again the boys and girls did their school proud.

Sarah Kennedy, a junior from Billerica and a standout in Design and Visual Communications at the school, came home with a bronze medal in the State Pin competition.

The pin, designed by Kennedy, was worn by all Massachusetts competitors and followed the SkillsUSA theme for the year, “Connecting you to career success.” It featured the skyline of Boston connected together with all of the symbols of the trades that SkillsUSA represents. The circular pin had a gold background and said “SkillsUSA Massachusetts 2016” on it.

Kennedy competed against the 49 other states as well as Guam, Navajo Nation and Puerto Rico.

“Her presentation was wonderful,” said Heidi Lloyd, the SkillsUSA advisor at Shawsheen. “Her speech was eloquent.”

Kennedy plans to pursue a career in graphic design.

For the fourth year in a row, Shawsheen had a state officer elected.

Siobhan Reidy, a junior from Wilmington, joined the team of delegates from Massachusetts that included recent Shawsheen graduate and state officer Nicholas Troisi of Billerica and freshman Emma Barns of Billerica. At the national conference, the delegates helped assist in the election of Massachusetts 6th National Officer. The delegate team works extremely hard all week listening to speeches, voting on the revision of by-laws for SkillsUSA and campaigning for their nominee. Stacey Muanya from Blackstone Valley Technical High School was elected a National Officer.

In the fall, Reidy will attend another leadership conference in Washington, D.C. to earn statesmen pins and meet representatives from across the country to discuss Career and Techincal Education (CTE).

Other Shawsheen representatives included the Entrepreneurship team of juniors from the business technology shop that consisted of Ashley Fahey of Billerica, Dylan Pella of Billerica, Halle Sulfaro of Billerica and John Miller of Wilmington. The team finished 10th in the country after presenting a business plan for a community outreach program for underprivileged children.

The program consisted of after-school activities, tutoring and a summer program as well.

Maren Williams, a junior from Tewksbury, joined eight other high school girls from around the nation to compete in the automotive refinishing technologist contest. Williams came home with an impressive sixth-place performance after completing a written test. Williams and her fellow participants took a practical exam, demonstrating safe work procedures, spot repairs, color matching and tinting before going through a job interview. Williams hopes to attend Stanford University to pursue chemical engineering in 2018.

Shannon Vasas, a junior from Tewksbury, went to nationals for basic health care and finished fifth.

For her competition, Vasas had to complete a difficult and complicated written test before a practical exam that included tasks such as applying a wrap to an injured appendage, collect, measure and test specimens, moving and administering personal hygiene care to patients and making an occupied bed.

“We are very proud of Shannon,” said Lloyd. “Some of the tasks she had to demonstrate are not taught until the senior year, but Shannon worked diligently with Karen Meister to make sure she could not only complete the tasks, but understand how and why they needed to be done a certain way.”

Vasas hopes to go to college for nursing in 2018.

Shawsheen also had a trio of juniors from the Design and Visual Communications create a promotional bulletin board. Olivia Powers of Tewksbury, Kayli Lucente of Billerica and Victoria Suttie of Wilmington made a board that now is displayed at Shawsheen’s school store.

The board contains information regarding career choices for both traditional and non-traditional trades as well as information about Shawsheen’s SkillsUSA chapter.

The SkillsUSA national wasn’t all work and no play for the competitors.

Superintendent/Director Timothy Broadrick and Assistant Principal Jessica Cook brought Shawsheen’s entourage to the Muhammed Ali Museum during the trip. The students also attended a Selena Gomez concert with other members of the SkillsUSA from across the country.

Pictured in the group photo are the team of Shawsheen Tech’s SkillsUSA 2016 national competitors:

(Back row, from left) Shannon Vasas of Tewksbury, Kayli Lucente of Billerica, Siobhan Reidy of Wilmington, Emma Barnes of Billerica, Halle Sulfaro of Billerica, John Miller of Wilmington, Ashley Fahey of Billerica, Dylan Pella of Billerica, Victoria Suttie of Wilmington

(front row) Sarah Kennedy of Billerica, Maren Williams of Tewksbury, Nicholas Troisi of Billerica and Olivia Powers of Tewksbury. COURTESY PHOTO

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