Perry students excel as ever at SkillsUSA National Conference

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Perry High School students made their perennially strong performance again this year at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, held June 22-28 in Louisville, Ky. Photo courtesy PCSD


Perry High School students made their perennially strong performance again this year at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, held June 22-28 in Louisville, Ky.

Activities at nationals began when PHS students and 2019 Iowa SkillsUSA state officers Kaden Boyer, Dalton Scott, Sierra Newton and Rylynn Gilmore attended a three-day leadership training conference prior to the start of the nationwide competitions. Along with the other state officers, the PHS trio will report on their experiences at the Iowa SkillsUSA Leadership Conference in September.

Ten Perry High School students earned awards at the Louisville nationals:

  • Kaylynn Bousman earned a 6th place finish in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Rylynn Gilmore got 6th in the nurse assisting competition.
  • Charley Guardado got 17th in an all-new automobile maintenance and light repair contest.
  • The team of Taylor Eppert, Sierra Newton and Kaden Boyer earned 21st place in the promotional bulletin board competition.
  • Lanie Fish entered the first-aid CPR competition and captured 23rd place.
  • Kaleigh Hein got 24th overall in motorcycle service technology.
  • Alex Fickbohm got 29th in power equipment technology.
  • Carpentry was competed in by Mason Barkley, who came away 34th overall.

“All of them did a phenomenal job in their respective areas, and this year was a learning year for all of them,” said PHS Automotive Instructor Curt Cornelius. “This year, everyone competed in a new competition, or this was their first trip to nationals.”

Cornelius explained that PHS students compete against students from states with technical high schools similar to the DMACC Perry VanKirk Career Academy. In some of these technical schools, students spend half their school day during all four years of high school on one particular trade. PHS students, by contrast, receive most of their training after school as an extra-curricular activity.

“This really goes to show how well our students do on the national level,” Cornelius said, “coming from a general high school, where some things are taught in class, but most of the efforts are after school and with great help from our community members who help our students succeed.”

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