Meridian Technology Center students are getting ready to go from the classroom to the convention hall as they head for national skills competitions in the upcoming months.
Full-time adult and high school students attending Meridian are able to join one of several student organizations related to their field of study: Business Professionals of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; HOSA – Future Health Professionals; or SkillsUSA.
These organizations provide students an opportunity to gain leadership skills and ultimately compete against other technology center students from across the state and nation. During each round of competition, students develop and demonstrate skills that include public speaking, presenting, working together as a team, interviewing and technical skills related to their area of study. Students in Culinary Arts also have the opportunity to participate in the ProStart skills contests that are sponsored by the National Restaurant Association.
Over the past three months, a total of 45 high school students and adults won first place in their organization’s state skill contests, earning the chance to advance and compete at the national level.
Meridian Made Winners
Students qualifying to compete at the Business Professionals of America national conference include Malykaii (Daxx) Arnold, Perry; Jaycee Everett, Perkins; Jessica Goltry, Guthrie; and Stillwater students Jakob Lavicky, William Anderton, Christian Bair, Henry Rohlfing and Anthony Rifenberry. These students will travel to Anaheim, California, May 1-5 to compete. Additionally, Stillwater student Jakob Lavicky and Guthrie student Brandon Conner will attend the national conference and conclude their terms as state officers.
Meridian will send 29 students to the national leadership and skills contest with SkillsUSA in Louisville, Kentucky, June 24-28. Students advancing include Rachael Sappington and Ethan Petree, Glencoe; Garrett Anderson, Andrew Cicle, Jacob Jackson and Logan Holman, Perkins; Jennifer Leal-McBride and Megan Norris, Agra; Aaron Swell, Orlando; Bryant Bunyard and Joe Kuhn, Morrison; Dylan Cates, Pawnee; Brendan Klingaman, Perry; Arlington Schlabach, Guthrie; and Stillwater students Joseph Popplewell, Austin Baker, Ahmed Al Neama, Luke Cheatwood, Ryean Ross, Isabella Bolene, Gemma Aguilera, William Anderton, Landon Hurt, Enoch Munoz, Blay Cantrell, Andrew Winn, Christopher Jones, Kenneth Duke and Cash Wilson.
Mary Parnell and Dulandika Malalage, Stillwater; and Perkins students Ivy Hover, Taylor Allen, Jayden Todd and Sydney Flynn will compete at the HOSA – Future Health Professionals International Leadership Conference June 19-22 in Orlando, Florida.
Jeanie Zagar, Executive Director of Career Planning/Career Development, attributes the number of students succeeding at the state skills contests to the dedication of students attending Meridian.
“We’ve focused on working with students to match their college and career goals with the training programs we offer at Meridian,” she said. “We have had a greater level of student retention and involvement because of this process. The number of wins Meridian students have at the state level is a true testament to their dedication as well as the training they receive in their programs.”