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ACC Students Excel in First Time at SkillsUSA State Competition

Alamance Community College, in its first-ever appearance at the SkillsUSA North Carolina Conference competition, came home with two first-place awards in Cosmetology and Carpentry, while a Dental Assisting student received a second-place honor. The 52nd annual conference was held at the Greensboro Coliseum and GTCC campus the last week of April.

ACC’s results are most impressive because students were competing against 890 other community college students from across North Carolina. High school students’ attendance was even higher.

ACC Carpentry student Hunter Thompson, who last year as an Alamance County high school student won at the national level, placed first in Cabinetmaking. He now heads to the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky in June representing all of North Carolina in his category. Thompson is an ACC university transfer student.

Karla VallesDental Assisting student Karla Valles won second place in her competition. It involved demonstrating procedures specified in the accreditation standards for Dental Assisting Education Programs of the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and included chair-side assisting, preparation of dental materials, infection control, and emergency, laboratory and office procedures.

SkillsUSA is a national and statewide organization that provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms. The organization’s website emphasizes its partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

Cosmetology students holding up their awardsCosmetology succeeded with honors in Post-Secondary (college) and Secondary (high school). The first group winners were Leann Barnes, first place; Delaney Sox, third place; Annie Chang, fourth place; and Tashia Underwood, fifth place. Career and College Promise (CCP) high school winners were (seen in photo above) Allison Hall, first place; Katherine Burns, second place; and Madison Globuschutz won third place in Hair Color.

The Cosmetology Skills Showcase involved preparing portfolios and performing a hands-on exercise that demonstrates the outlined procedure.

ACC’s first-time participation in this huge event evolved following a united effort on the parts of Cosmetology and Dental Assisting department heads who served as judges at last year’s event. With belief that ACC students could compete at this level of competition, the instructors received go-ahead from administrators and used Perkins Grant funds to join the organization this year.

Although Michelle Williamson heads the Cosmetology program, she personally worked with carpentry student Hunter Thompson to get him ready for competition following his high school-level achievement a year ago.

“Michelle Williamson, Janelle Christopher, and Donna Pruitt put our teams together themselves and did a marvelous job preparing students,” said Cathy Johnson, Vice President of Instruction at ACC. “We hope to grow this opportunity to involve additional CTE programs next year.”

“It was an awesome experience,” said Pruitt, instructor in Dental Assisting. “And a wonderful opportunity for Alamance Community College to show how hard our students work.”