Vol State Students Win in Statewide Job Skills Competition Conference through SkillsUSA from

By Allyson Oakley

Students from Volunteer State Community College competed in the State Leadership and Skills Conference through SkillsUSA from March 31 – April 3.
The students competed at the local level, according to the SkillsUSA website. From there, students can advance to the state and national levels.

Cindy Thrasher, assistant professor of communication, was quoted in an email saying, “We are excited that our students have such a broad spectrum of areas of expertise. They competed not only in technical areas, but also in Leadership areas like Public Speaking and Interviewing.”

Overall, thirteen VSCC students competed, out of which 8 brought home medals.

The Vol State competitors, left to right. Front row:  Jarissa Woolbright, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Restaurant Service; Preston Carr, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Culinary Arts; Hannah Foley, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Commercial Baking; and Delenn Strong of Gainsboro.  2nd row:  Tim Dean, Mechatronics program director; BobbiJo Andrews, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Extemporaneous Speech; Melody Montgomery, Livingston, Bronze Medal, Prepared Speech; Pam Davis, Cookeville; Jarrett Talbott, Cookeville, Bronze Medal, Motorcycle Repair; Nicholas Drake, Cookeville; and Cindy Thrasher, assistant professor of Communication. 3rd row:  Josiah Watson, Celina; Miguel Ortiz, Baxter, Silver Medal, Technical Computer Applications; Tallen Gooch, Sparta, Bronze Medal, Team Mechatronics; and Samuel Griffin, Sparta, Bronze Medal, Team Mechatronics.

The Vol State competitors, left to right. Front row: Jarissa Woolbright, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Restaurant Service; Preston Carr, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Culinary Arts; Hannah Foley, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Commercial Baking; and Delenn Strong of Gainsboro.
2nd row: Tim Dean, Mechatronics program director; BobbiJo Andrews, Cookeville, Gold Medal, Extemporaneous Speech; Melody Montgomery, Livingston, Bronze Medal, Prepared Speech; Pam Davis, Cookeville; Jarrett Talbott, Cookeville, Bronze Medal, Motorcycle Repair; Nicholas Drake, Cookeville; and Cindy Thrasher, assistant professor of Communication.
3rd row: Josiah Watson, Celina; Miguel Ortiz, Baxter, Silver Medal, Technical Computer Applications; Tallen Gooch, Sparta, Bronze Medal, Team Mechatronics; and Samuel Griffin, Sparta, Bronze Medal, Team Mechatronics.

The 13 students that competed were; Preston Carr, BobbiJo Andrews, Melody Montgomery, Hannah Foley, Pam Davis, Jarrett Talbott, Nicholas Drake, Josiah Watson, Miguel Ortiz, Jarissa Woolbright, Tallen Gooch, Delenn Strong, and Samuel Griffin.

“BobbiJo Andrews won the Gold Medal in Extemporaneous Speaking and Melody Montgomery won the Bronze Medal in Prepared Speech. BobbiJo will go on to Nationals with our other 3 Gold Medalists in Louisville in June where they will have the opportunity to earn scholarship money. BobbiJo has been accepted to MTSU in the speech pathology program and Melody (also a President’s Ambassador) is pursuing her BA in Social Work at TTU in the fall.”

“Several of our students made contacts that could lead to careers upon graduation. I had more than one employer comment to me that they were quite impressed with not only the technical skills of the students, but also the professionalism that they demonstrated,” said state Mechatronics and Engineering faculty member Tim Dean in an email.

According to the SkillsUSA website, “The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.”

In June, Students who received the gold medal will be competing at the national competition in Louisville, KY.