During its Tuesday meeting, the Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education honored Tullahoma High School students – three of which graduated in May – who competed at the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in June in Atlanta.
Kelsie Evans, Jackson Hamblin, Nicolais Zimecki and Jonathan Raulston represented THS at the national competition. The locals were four of 6,500 other students who competed in a total of 108 trade, technical and leadership fields.
“The atmosphere at the national SkillsUSA competition was exciting and inspiring,” said THS machining teacher Derek Swiger. “It was almost overwhelming to be around all of the competition. There was always something interesting to watch and numerous vendors showing off new and innovative items that would be useful in many classroom settings.”
Evans led the Tullahoma students with a seventh-place finish in technical drafting. Evans previously received a silver medal in the same event at the Tennessee SkillsUSA Leadership & Skills Conference.
“The seventh place finish was the highest that I’ve had a student place at the SkillsUSA competition,” said THS Computer-Aided Design teacher Randy Edwards. “Kelcie placed seventh out of the 44 states who sent representatives. She is one of the smartest students I have ever taught and is highly talented and competitive. She’s very sharp and a quick learner and extremely detail oriented.”
Hamblin, Zimecki and Raulston teamed and came home with a 10th-place effort in automated manufacturing. The trio previously took home the gold medal in the same competition during the state conference.
“I was extremely proud of those three boys who went down and competed in the national finals,” Edwards said. “There were 44 states represented, and they were able to place 10th. I’m extremely proud of these guys.”
Evans, Hamblin and Zimecki all graduated from Tullahoma High School this past spring, while Raulston returns as a senior this year. After the success of those four individuals, both Edwards and Swiger are hopeful to see the achievements of future students.
“I hope these students bring back the excitement from this SkillsUSA experience to other students at Tullahoma High School and cause a flood of interest in trade and technical skills,” Swiger said. “It would be great to see a genuine interest in trade and technical skills and, in turn, continue to improve CTE programs and SkillsUSA teams at THS.”