Two Deer Lakes students advance to SkillsUSA statewide competition in April
Deer Lakes senior Ray Skoff (Criminal Justice) and junior Cadence Howell (Extemporaneous Speech) have each placed first in their respective competition areas of the District 8 SkillsUSA competition in January and have earned the right to be among 17 students representing the technical school at the 51st annual statewide SkillsUSA competition, April 18-20 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.
Skoff, who hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement, participates in the Police Explorers program, a program run by the North Hills Regional Task Force that gives the students a realistic window into how the criminal justice system works and the critically important role police officers play within it.
Skoff believes that experience gave him an edge in the Criminal Justice competition. “The competition was definitely stiff and the young lady I was competing against in the final was very impressive,” allowed Skoff. “However, I just think I had more exposure to real life situations than she did and I was very confident in my answers. That was probably the biggest difference.”
Howell, an aspiring graphic designer, was asked to speak off the top of her head about what best prepared her for her professional journey? “I just told the judges that I have wonderful parents and great teachers and together they had really prepared me will for my future in graphic design,” she said.
Other Deer Lakes students who competed in the regional competition included Matt Barrie and Gavin Scarantine, who each finished second in Carpentry and Crime Science respectively. Mike Marfisi took third place honors in Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair; Paul Zalus took fourth in TeamWorks; and Brandon Badillion came in sixth in Advertising Design.
Only first place winners and a few straight-to-state qualifiers are invited to compete in Hershey. Students who earn first place at that event will then compete in the 56th National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), June 22-26 in Louisville, Ky.