06 July 2023
Our Delcastle Cougars recently showcased their talents and skills at two prestigious national leadership conferences: SkillsUSA NLSC (National Leadership and Skills Conference) in Atlanta, GA, and HOSA ILC (International Leadership Conference) in Dallas, TX. The students' exceptional performances and achievements have made their teachers, families, and the entire Delcastle community extremely proud.
SkillsUSA, a renowned organization that promotes career and technical education, saw the participation of Delcastle's talented students, including those from the HVAC, Electrical Trades, Graphic Arts, and Sheet Metal programs. Mr. Aaron Wright, HVAC instructor, and Mr. Bryan Bryant, Electrical Trades instructor, were among the dedicated teacher advisors who supported the students at SkillsUSA NLSC.
Reflecting on the accomplishments of the students, Mr. Wright expressed his immense pride, stating, "This was our first year back, and first time Delcastle HVAC made it to nationals, ever. To place in the top five makes me very proud." Mr. Bryant also shared his enthusiasm, saying, "Being part of Skills nationals left me inspired. I literally am so proud of our students. Having the opportunity to watch them grow in their skill set and confidence daily was a pleasure for me."
The SkillsUSA NLSC experience not only impacted the individual students but also the entire school community. According to Mr. Wright, participating in these competitions will prepare the students for the future workforce. Mr. Bryant emphasized the significance of the competition in fostering camaraderie and encouraging others to reach this level of excellence, stating, "The tradition of trading pins with other competitors allowed students to get out of their comfort zone and have meaningful conversations with students from all around our nation."
Similarly, Delcastle's Medical Assisting and Dental Assisting students demonstrated their skills and knowledge at the HOSA ILC, a premier event for future healthcare professionals. Mrs. Jessica Henry, Medical Assisting instructor, and Ms. Ashley Dills, Dental Assisting instructor, served as dedicated advisors for the students participating in HOSA.
Mrs. Henry expressed her pride in the students' courage and efforts, remarking, "Stepping outside the box and adding extra to your 'plate' can be a lot to juggle. They composed themselves with professionalism and pride all while having fun!" Mrs. Henry believes that the success of the students in HOSA will motivate and encourage other Delcastle students to become involved, leading to wider professional opportunities for them.
Among the outstanding HOSA competitors from Delcastle, Fatima Cruz-Ocampo '24, a Medical Assisting student, earned 7th place in the Medical Assisting competition. Reflecting on her achievement, Fatima shared, "I feel extremely proud of myself and my team. It also feels rewarding to know that my family was back home feeling proud and supportive since there were so many competitors and their daughter, sister, and niece came out on top."
Participating in these national conferences not only offered students a chance to showcase their talents but also deepened their passion for their chosen fields of study and future careers. Abby Rife '24, a Graphic Arts student who attended SkillsUSA, mentioned, "For me personally, it has provided me with a new experience in my field of study, and I have learned new skills that will help me in the future."
The competitions required students to utilize their technical skills, knowledge, and creativity. Noelle Evans '24, a Graphic Arts student who attended SkillsUSA, emphasized the learning experience, saying, "It gives you a realization that there's always room for improvement, but it also introduces you to people who have mastered the area that you're learning."
To prepare for these competitions, the students dedicated significant time and effort. Clinton Bertollo '24, a Sheet Metal student who attended SkillsUSA, shared, "I had prepared for my skills competition for two weeks, 5 days a week, 4 to 8 hours a day. I collected and honed all that I had been taught so that I may succeed." Fatima Cruz-Ocampo also mentioned the extensive preparation and practice sessions led by Mrs. Henry, which equipped them with the necessary skills for the competition.
Participating in SkillsUSA NLSC and HOSA ILC has not only contributed to the students' personal growth but also their academic development. Fatima Cruz-Ocampo noted the impact on her personal growth, stating, "Participating in HOSA ILC has enhanced my passion for my career in the medical field by motivating me to continue to learn and grow. It was also beautiful to see the future of the healthcare world." Abby Rife mentioned that the experience has inspired her to work harder and strive for success in the future.
The students' achievements at SkillsUSA NLSC and HOSA ILC serve as a testament to their dedication, hard work, and the exceptional guidance provided by their teachers. We commend all the participants for their outstanding performances and wishes them continued success.