Approximately 150 students represented Apple Valley Unified School District at the Region Six SkillsUSA Regional Conference, of which 83 will advance to the State competition this spring. The regional Leadership Events took place on Jan. 23 at Granite Hills High School and the regional Skills Events took place on Jan. 30 at and around San Bernardino Valley College. The regional competition attracted an estimated 1200 students from nearly 60 schools.
AVUSD’s Brad Williams and Ryan Ostlie serve as the coordinators for Region Six, which spans San Bernardino, Mono, Orange, Inyo, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial counties. Williams said all of the District’s career technical programs participate in the competition and that the “most valuable takeaway” for students is the combination of “leadership skills and soft skills”.
Natalie Biendara, senior at Apple Valley High School received a gold medal in the Digital Cinema Production event. “This year, I really connected to the prompt, so creating the video was basically just visualizing my dream,” she said.
George Lasko, also a senior at Apple Valley High School received a gold medal in the Related Technical Math event. “Related Technical Math sounds like a burden, and it was,” he said. “Except it was awesome being able to prove that I am good at math.
SkillsUSA conferences are divided into two sections: Leadership Events and Skills Events. Leadership Events hone in on soft-skills, such as public speaking, community service projects, public speaking and mock interviews. Skills Events focus specifically on various skill sets, such as computer programming, automotive service technology, aviation maintenance, culinary arts, robotics, video production and health occupations. Competitions are judged by industry partners in corresponding career fields.
The Skills USA California 49th Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference will take place Mar. 31- Apr. 3 in San Diego. State Gold Medalists will advance to Nationals in Louisville, Ky. Last year, AVUSD sent 13 students to Nationals and is hopeful to continue this trend with expanding school programs and student opportunities.