PHS Skills USA members are preparing for competition


Photo Courtesy of Brenna Henderson

SkillsUSA competitors sophomore Ava Stearns, junior Elle Wilson, and sophomore Kendal Eden show their new jackets to wear in this year’s competition.

Within the high school, students are encouraged to join sports, clubs, academic interests or other extracurricular activities. There is a wide variety of options, but some students’ appeals are still not given as many options. SkillsUSA allows competitors to choose a category, or multiple, to compete in.

This year’s state competition will take place in Casper on April 24-26. If competitors win in their category at this first round, they will move on to nationals in June at Atlanta, GA, which means more preparation is needed. The amount of work that goes into just being able to compete demonstrates the amount of dedication these students have.

“We had to sign a lot of papers and put our name into a system,” sophomore Kendal Eden said. “I have sent out some emails for reference letters, and we’ve done community service for one of our biggest projects.”

Some students have competed previously and decided to further their experience and compete again this year. Coming in with more experience allows them to try new categories and even compete in more.

“I am most looking forward to learning new skills or techniques from other SkillsUSA competitors and judges,” junior Maya Landwehr said. “Last year I enjoyed meeting new people that had the same interests as me, and I hope to meet even more people this year.”

Multiple students found interest in Skills through volunteering their time after school to watch over children for a couple of hours. Through CTE teacher and SkillsUSA mentor Mrs. Kandi Bennett’s class, some decided to do this volunteering called Love and Logic.

“Love and Logic is a class that parents take to become better parents, and we do the child care for it,” sophomore Ava Stearns said. “This has been very beneficial for one of my events in SkillsUSA.”

Looking forward, being able to compete in Skills may be more difficult. With Mrs. Denise Laursen leaving after this year, some problems may occur with participating in Skills.

“I’m hoping that some of our new staff that comes on board will have lots of energy and be looking to get involved,” Mrs. Bennett said. “We’ve got some good student leadership…I’m hoping this will motivate and keep the SkillsUSA going strong.”

Many students and staff are looking forward to years to come with competing in Skills. Most students hope to be able to continue competing, for it gives them more freedom and interest in extracurricular activities.