Nine SkillsUSA members to compete at nationals in June

Nine Seward SkillsUSA members will be heading to the national competition for placing first in their selected events at the SkillsUSA state contest in Wichita April 13-16. Seward has had teams compete in the SkillsUSA opening and closing demonstration contest, but never had they achieved a gold medal in that contest. Opening and closing demonstration contestant Jonathan Yowell is proud of their efforts. “We have all worked very hard to achieve the gold medal at the state level, and we are hoping to win the gold at nationals,” Yowell, who also placed third in precision machine technology, said. In the opening and closing demonstration contest, the students are judged on their knowledge and skills to properly open and close a SkillsUSA meeting. Yowell, along with other opening and closing team members Ethan Zweygardt, Brandon Bruner, Jesus Salais, Cory Bransgove, Zachery Sandoval, Matthew Olson and alternate Cody Brennon, will all go to nationals. Jesse Rosas will also be attending nationals for placing first in the job interview contest. This will be the first time that this year’s team members will be in the national competition, and all plan to put their best efforts forward against teams from around the country. Team member Salais has plans for his first national competition. “I hope to gain leadership skills and, of course, win first place,” Salais said. Others are also looking for gold. “I hope my team wins the gold medal at the national competition, because my team has worked very hard this year, and I’m so proud of my team,” Bransgrove said. Team sponsor Sybil Wagner — who won a Kansas SkillsUSA State Sponsor award at the state competition after being nominated by students, an administrator, an instructor and the chamber president— will take the team to nationals. This will be the fifth gold medal team that Wagner has taken to the national competition, and she is proud of the hard work that they have put in to compete. “I felt the students did a fabulous job at the contest,” Wagner said. “I was extremely proud of their knowledge and their behavior.” The SkillsUSA students also won 18 statesmen awards for completing questions on their knowledge of the SkillsUSA. Wagner noted that this year’s team members won the most awards of any other school at the state competition, and she is pleased with their accomplishments. “I love my students, and I love helping them with their achievements,” Wagner said. “Thank you to a bunch of students who give their all.” Wagner and the SkillsUSA team will head to the national competition in Kansas City, Mo. in June.