SGTC students excel at SkillsUSA Georgia competition

Published 12:52 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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Shown above are some of the SGTC representatives and students that excelled at the Georgia SkillsUSA competition recently. Shown (l to r) are SGTC Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Josh Curtain, Agyalea Armond, Cosmetology Instructor Dorothea Lusane McKenzie, Katlin Champion, Director of Career Services Cynthia Carter, Tra’Neisha Burns, SGTC President Dr. John Watford, Aviation Maintenance Instructor Paul Pearson, Gold Medal winner Andrew Daniel, Instructor David Grant, Silver Medal winner Maritcia Garcia, Criminal Justice Instructor Teresa McCook, Bronze medal winner Ashlyn Childs and Aviation Maintenance Instructors Charles Christmas and Victoria Herron.


SGTC President Dr. John Watford is shown above with the college’s state SkillsUSA medal winners and students who competed. Shown (l to r) are Agyalea Armond and Katlin Champion, cosmetology students, Criminal Justice bronze medal winner Tra’Neisha Burns, Dr. John Watford, Aviation Maintenance Gold Medal Winner Andrew Daniel, Criminal Justice silver medal winner Martcia Garcia, and Criminal Justice Bronze winner Ashlyn Childs. Not shown are Gold Medal winner Brantley Vansickle, Gavin Berry, Trevor Swenson, De’Andre Victor, Wesley Tunstall, L’Nydia Dunlap, and Jessica Wiley.

Atlanta, GA – Thirteen South Georgia Technical College students excelled at the 2023 SkillsUSA Georgia State Leadership and Skills Conference recently in Atlanta.  South Georgia Tech students competed in nine different categories and brought home two gold medals, a silver, and a bronze medal.

   Andrew Daniel, an Aviation Maintenance student from Thomaston, and Brantley Vansickle, a Criminal Justice student from Americus, both won Gold medals in their respective competitions.  Maritcia Garcia of Americus captured a silver medal in the Job Interview and then Ashlyn Childs of Ellaville and Tra’Neish Burns of Cochran brought home a bronze medal in the Crime Scene Investigation competition for Criminal Justice.

   Gavin Berry and Trevor Swenson competed in the Aviation Maintenance category, De’Andre Victor of Montezuma represented the Barbering program, Agyalea Armond of Ellaville competed in Cosmetology, and Katlin Champion of Americus and L’Nydia Dunlap of Cordele represented Cosmetology in the Esthetics competition.  Wesley Tunstall, a medial assisting student from Sarasota, FL, competed in customer service and Jessica Wiley of Arabi represented Criminal Justice in t-shirt design.

   As gold medal winners, Daniel and Vansickle will represent South Georgia Technical College and the State of Georgia in the National SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta, June 19 – 23rd.

   “I am proud of each and every one of the South Georgia Technical College students and instructors who participated in the Georgia SkillsUSA competition,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford.  “These students were competing to be recognized as the best in their fields in the state.  I am especially proud of our two gold medal winners who will now represent us at the national competition.”

   Andrew Daniel, Gavin Berry and Trevor Swenson were the three aviation students from South Georgia Technical College that competed in the Aviation Maintenance event.  Daniel won the gold medal in the Aviation Maintenance competition and was recognized as the overall best Aviation Maintenance student in Georgia.

   His instructors, Victoria Herron, Charles Christmas, Paul Pearson and David Grant worked with Daniel and the other students outside of regular class hours to help them prepare for the competition that included written and hands-on skills activities.

   “This is a very tough competition and in order to do well, students have to know the material and be able to perform tasks that challenge their thought process and physical skills,” said SGTC lead Aviation Maintenance Instructor Victoria Herron.  “We are all very proud of Andrew and our other two students who represented us.”  SGTC has had the State SkillsUSA winners for 14 of the past 15 years and has had National SKillsUSA winners in the Aviation Maintenance competition.

   Brantley Vansickle, a freshman criminal justice student from Americus, won the gold medal in Criminal Justice competition.  Vansickle is currently the SGTC Student Government Association President and is a graduate of the SGTC High School Equivalency program.  His instructor, Teresa McCook, was very proud of him and her other students.

   “Brantley did a great job,” said McCook.  “He did a lot of extra curricular studying to prepare for this competition and it paid off.  I was very proud of him and the other students who competed.”

      McCook’s students also captured silver and bronze medals.   Maritcia Garcia took the silver medal in the Job Interview category and then Ashlyn Childs and Tra’Neisha Burns won the Bronze medal in the Crime Scene investigation.

   The SGTC Criminal Justice three-person team of students competing in the Crime Scene investigation competition had one student become ill and not be able to compete.  Despite being penalized for not having three people, Ashlyn Childs and Tra’Neisha Burns were able to still walk away with a bronze medal in that event against the other three-person teams.

   “I am very proud of both of them.  They knew they would be penalized because we didn’t have our third person, but they stepped up and competed and earned a medal.  We also had community representatives who came in and helped these students prepare for the competitions and I think that helped tremendously,” added McCook.

   The SGTC students tested their abilities in trade, technical, skilled service, and health occupations.  According to SkillsUSA, the organization serves more than 331,000 students and instructors annually and has served nearly 14 million annual members since 1965.  The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor recognize SkillsUSA as a successful model of employer-driven workforce development.

   In addition to the SGTC students competing, South Georgia Technical College Vice President for Student Affairs Eulish Kinchens, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Josh Curtain, and Admissions Director Candie Walter also attended and prepared a booth about South Georgia Technical College to market to the high school students who attended the competition.

   SGTC’s State SkillsUSA Officers Cynthia Carter and Michele Seay also represented the college as did High Performance Engines Motorsports Instructor Kevin Beaver, Precision Machining and Manufacturing Instructor Chad Brown as student advisors.  The instructors who attended with their students were:  Aviation Maintenance’s Victoria Herron, Charles Christmas, and Paul Pearson along with Dorothea McKenzie from Cosmetology, Andre Robinson of Barbering and Teresa McCook from Criminal Justice.  SGTC Chief of Police Sammy Stone also attended.