DACC hosts SkillsUSA competition


The Delaware Area Career Center (DACC) hosted the annual SkillsUSA South Central Regional competition earlier this month, which brought in more than 400 students from 17 regional high schools.

During the event, students competed in various written and hands-on competitions, including Advertising Design, Extemporaneous Speaking, Medical Math, Welding Fabrication and other life-skills and career-oriented areas.

Kelly Kohl, the SkillsUSA advisor at DACC, said hosting the event was a commitment for the DACC and its students, including 50 students who volunteered and 25 who competed in different categories.

“It took a lot of people to pull the event together,” Kohl said. “It’s a two-year commitment, so we are excited to host it again next year. It’s great to see so many students getting involved, taking on leadership roles, and accepting challenging tasks.”

Jim Gaskill, principal at the Delaware Area Career Center, said it was “an honor” to host the event, and he was inspired by seeing the students step up to volunteer and compete.

“Seeing our students not only compete, but take on leadership roles during the competition was truly inspiring,” Gaskill said. “Our kids worked hard to learn, practice, and prepare their skills for competition today. Additionally, I am extremely thankful and grateful for our staff for helping to welcome all of the visiting students and staff, and making the event a great day for kids.”

During the competition, several DACC students earned gold medals, including Bryson Curtis in Automotive Refinishing Techology, Alexander Korotkin in Collision Repair, Kemia Jones in Cosmetology, and the group of David Neverov, Shawn Foley, Augustus Bochenek, and Andrew Hojnacki, who took gold in the TeamWorks competition.

Brandon Schwynn, the construction instructor at DACC who coached the TeamWorks group to its gold medal, said he drew from his professional experience to prepare students for the competition.

“Understanding how different trades work together in the field helped me prepare them for the time constraints,” Schwynn said. “In the end, we were the only team in the state to finish the project under the time limit.”

Zoey SanFillipo, a senior at DACC and Delaware Hayes High School, competed in the Crime Scene Investigation category and served as one of the seven SkillsUSA state officers during the function. She said she had an active role in planning and executing the competition.

“I’ve been working with the DACC staff since last year to get ready for the regional competition,” SanFillipo said.

Cosmetology juniors Ellie Rockwell and Eliza Finley worked to create a welcoming and organized experience for all attendees and said the closing ceremony stood out as a moment of unity and celebration of diversity.

“The closing ceremony embodied what it meant to be in SkillsUSA and what it means to have so many students from different backgrounds and beliefs come together to give it their all,” Rockwell said.

DACC students, among others who placed in the top three in their respective categories, have advanced to the state competition in Columbus this April.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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