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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

McCann Students Earn 30 Medals

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Saturday, April 01, 2006

SkillsUSA district event medalists Erica Boucher,Brett Gelinas,Justin Burdick,Justin Wirtes,Collin Murdock, Steve Senay,Dave Senecal,Nick St. Jacues, Damien McCartney, and Max LaCasse
North Adams - Over 60 Charles H. McCann Technical High School students are expected to compete at an April 27-29 SkillsUSA state competition hosted at the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational School in Marlboro.

The state opportunity came after in-school competition winners competed during a March district challenge and brought 9 gold, 13 silver, and 8 bronze medals back to the school.

Invitation-Only Event Includes McCann


Secondary education SkillsUSA medalists Erica Bulshey, Lynn Gregory, and Audrey LeGrande
There is an additional honor for the school, said SkillsUSA adult advisor Tom Tinney; the school was invited to compete in a new, invitation-only category: 3-D animation. Students Eric Euchler and Nicholas Daniels are expected to bring their talents to the state event.

Winners of the animation category will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship, Tinney said.

The new category indicates a new need is developing in the workforce.

"It goes to show that this is a skill and a talent that employers are looking for," Tinney said, and added that the school was pleased to be among those invited to participate.

Goin' To Kansas City, Kansas City Here We Come

And two TQM [Total Quality Management] teams have been invited to compete during a June national competition held in Kansas City, Missouri.

Team I members Adam Bethoney, Nicollette Chandler, Emberly Ford, Kolin Hurlbut, and Justin Burdick are slated to deliver a presentation focused on "Perception of McCann Technical School" while Team II members Carissa Briggs, Andrew Carrigan, Sarah Grimaldi, Jennifer Sumy-Saldo, and Jeanna Tinney are scheduled to present "Improving MCAS Scores Through Literacy."

TQM team members Carissa Briggs, Emberly Ford,Sara Grimaldi,Nicollette Chandler,Jeanna Tinney,Kolin Hurlbut,Adam Bethoney,Andrew Carrigan, and Justin Burdick


Hard Work Pays Off

Secondary education students, commonly referred to as "post-grads," also achieved medal wins at the district event. McCann graduate Erica Bulshey [Class of 2004] earned a bronze medal during a cardiopulmonary resuscitation/first aid competition.

She is currently enrolled in the school's medical assisting program and is looking forward to the state event. As a high school student, Bulshey progressed to the state level, she said.

"I can't wait for states," she said during a March 30 interview. This is my fourth time at districts and it will be my second time at states. I would love to make it to nationals."

Chandler is a junior enrolled in the office technologies program.

"It feels good," she said of the participation. "I'm excited. We worked hard and we accomplished something."

Medical assisting student Audrey LeGrande said that she is very pleased with her gold medal performance at districts.

"I am extremely excited," she said. "When you pay attention to detail, it pays off."


Teamworks and Cabinetry medalists Nichole Morandi, Craig Hartman, Nick Richards, Nathan O'Hearn, and Mark Therrien
Bethoney said that he is hoping that TQM members can use the experience gained at 2005 SkillsUSA events to their advantage this time around.

"We hope to use our experience and win this year," he said.

"It's fun," said Hurlbut of the competitions. "You work really hard and you learn some good, valuable skills."

Some Lessons Learned "Overnight"

Teamworks team members Nick Richards, Nathan O'Hearn, Mark Therrien and Craig Hartman worked together on a building project. The district competition forced them to put their knowledge in writing, something that was especially challenging for Therrien and Hartman.

The event requires students to work as masons and plumbers, two skills that are not part of any existing McCann curriculum. Those skills are taught specifically for the competitions and must be learned quickly, said Therrien and Hartman.

"We had to learn this stuff kind of overnight," Hartman said.

Surprise!

SkillsUSA state competition students include Melanie Neyland,Dylan Phaneuf,Kara Giorgi,Rebecca Oleson,Matthew Meczywor,Eric Euchler,Nick Daniels,Aubrey Frost,Warren Noel, and Ryan O'Hearn


Junior student Nichole Morandi secured a gold medal in the cabinetmaking category.

"I did not expect to get gold and I almost fell down when I went to get the medal," she said.

The cabinetmaking curriculum is popular with female students, Morandi said.

"Almost everyone in my shop is a girl," she said.

Burdick and Grimaldi said that they are proud to be students at a school with so many talented youth, and are looking forward to the future events. Jeanna Tinney said that the competitions offer a host of opportunities.

"I think it's an amazing experience," she said. "It's a good chance to show everything about McCann."

SkillsUSA is a national organization with a membership of over 240,000 high school and college students as well as working professionals. There are over 13,000 SkillsUSA chapters throughout the nation and in locales such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin islands. The organization places a significant emphasis on leadership, teamwork,and character building.

Additional information about the Charles H. McCann Technical High School and the SkillsUSA organization may be acquired by visiting a www.mccanntech.org Internet web site.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367,
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