By Nicole Walby
Students are gearing, teaming, designing and building for the 2013 Northwest Regional SkillsUSA Championships.
The contest is 9 a.m.- noon Feb. 15 at Sentinel Career and Technology Center, with the awards ceremony taking place at 1 p.m. at Columbian High School.
"Since we do not have sports at Sentinel, CTSO's (Career Tech Student Organizations) are the way our students get to showcase their skills against others from our region, state and country," Director Elissa Heal said.
Medical Instructor Sandy Reinhart said her students have put in many hours of practicing and studying.
"This competition is not for those that are not willing to put in the hard work. They have to want it and it has to come from the heart," Reinhart said.
Junior Ciara Long is competing in the prepared speech portion on the subject, "Skills employers are looking for in employees."
"I felt that with this topic, I would be able to do the most research," Long said.
The speech has to be five to seven minutes long. To prepare, Long memorizes and recites her speech every night. Long said she is not usually nervous before or during speaking; her nervousness comes the moment after. Long also has been involved in the FFA public-speaking competition.
She plans to go to Findlay University for physical therapy.
"I want to help people. I am outgoing and like to meet all different types of people," Long said. "For this competition, you have to want it and put the work in."
The competition tests all types of skills.
"You have to not just survive, but to win the competition," senior Hannah Corner said.
She and fellow senior Danielle Sammet will be showcasing skills in nurse assisting, such as moving transfers, bed-making, hygiene and care.
"It is a self-challenge for us." Corner said. "It would be a huge success if we win."
Medical students Magan Somodi, Ashley Perry and Kaitlyn Hoffman are preparing a health tech prep showcase dealing with obesity.
"Obesity is such a big topic, we wanted to inform people and make them aware," Hoffman said.
The showcase will be part of Sentinel's weekend winter camps beginning in February.
"We want to show that we worked hard and are proud of our goal," Somodi said. "We want to make an impact. The greatest competition will be the other teams that have just as strong topics such as cancer or other diseases."
Many teams will be represented throughout the competition. For example, in the health knowledge bowl, two teams are to compete in a "Jeopardy"-like competition along with a written test.
Team one consist of seniors Candy Haugh, Alyssa Assenheimer and Kelly Bishop and junior Chelsea Fitsschen.
"It is definitely a big competition. It is exciting to compete and be the best," Haugh said.
Haugh plans to attend Bowling Green University after graduation and then to transfer to the University of Cincinnati to become a pediatric nurse.
"It's exciting knowing that we could win." Assenheimer said.
The team has put a lot of work into studying and practicing before and after school, Bishop said.
"We have put a lot of time and energy. It would mean a lot for something good to come out of it," she said.
Team two is comprised of seniors Talyor Nye, Alexis Schwilk and juniors Becca Heidler and Krista Ward.
Other medical students participating in the regional competition are juniors Allison Werling and Kaylee Sherer in medical terminology; and junior Sidney Baker and senior Arion Tiell in medical math.
Public Safety students also are getting prepared for the competition. Instructor George Byington's crime scene team practices every Tuesday after school on how to collect evidence, photograph and sketch a scene and conduct interviews. The team consists of seniors Hollie Alexander and Micaela Barth and junior Zach Reidel.
"It takes understanding and knowledge," Byington said.
In addition to the crime scene team, Byington also has students participating in other areas. Those students are seniors Douglas McDonald, Chyanne Lykins and Daniell Sanagan and junior Brad Huston.
Students also are tested in artistic ability.
Cosmetology students seniors Bridgett Stallard and Sarah Faber are competing in the hair portion while seniors Alanna Widman and Emily Madden are competing in the nail portion.
"These girls are dedicated. Someone in this competition has to be dedicated and be able to work with what is given to them," said cosmetology instructor Nichole England.
The students were chosen after a local competition at Sentinel. The guidelines were the same as the upcoming regional competition. The students have to create an up-do hair style using three styling techniques; they have an hour to do so. Then, they have a hair cut to do in about 40 minutes and a 15-minute styling.
"I want to do something that is unique and that will stand out," Stallard said. "I want to show that my dedication and hard work has paid off, and I'd hope to one day open my own salon."
According to building construction trades instructor Aaron Thompson, "We want to give students as much of a real-world experience as we can."
"The teamworks team that I have this year knows how to problem-solve, to get the job done and to think on the fly like with getting changes to blueprints (and) to be able to perform the proper changes on site."
The team is involved in a two-day contest. The team has about eight hours of build time consisting of four parts: carpentry, plumbing, electrical and masonry. The students receive a set of blueprints they have use to build items with aspects such as framing, building a staircase, roughen windows and doors and wiring and plumbing of a bathroom.
The team consists of seniors Jacob Welly, Salvador Cantero, Jacob Serviss and Austin Kelbley.
"I want to be able to make a difference," Cantero said. "For the competition, you have to learn about everything and know as much as you can."
Some of the competitors have long-term goals.
Senior Tyler Burns wanted to be in this competition to try and obtain scholarships and is planning on attending the University of Northwestern Ohio for a degree in auto diesel.
"Winning would mean a lot to me. It would prove that I am good at what I do and I have a good teacher in Mr. Keegan," Burns said.
Burns will be demonstrating skills an entry-level auto service technician does. Tasks will be to diagnose electrical problems measuring engine components, charging and starting systems, service manual information, diagnosing wheel alignment problems, checking brakes and diagnosing problems with analog brakes.
Other students competing in the regional competition are senior Kevin Moore in welding and junior Tyler Lewis in carpentry.
For the students who advance, state championships will be April 23-24 in Columbus. National championships will be June 22-28 in Kansas City.