By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)May 27, 2010
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. - Five high school and nine college students in Anniston Army Depot's Student Educational Employment Program earned medals at Alabama's SkillsUSA competition held April 26-29 in Birmingham.
Joseph Clark, a depot student from Cleburne County High School, took first place in the diesel technology category, which required him to complete 10 different stations where he showed his abilities in diagnosing and correcting problems in a diesel engine as well as his ability to pass a job interview.
Justin Jacobs, who attends Cherokee County High School, took second place in diesel technology.
Sierrah Shatus of Alexandria High School took third place in extemporaneous speaking. Her topic was opportunities in the workplace and she said her experiences on the depot prepared her well for that subject.
"The hardest part about it was looking for the material to support my speech and finding the right words to say," said Shatus, who is studying diesel mechanics at the Career Academy.
Jaron Bennett, an Oxford High School student, took first place in electronics technology while Blake Leath of Etowah County High took third.
Amanda Cooper, from Munford High School, took fourth place in the diesel technology event.
On the college level, Melissa Pryce took first place in electronics. This was her second time at SkillsUSA, having placed second in the high school competition last year.
"I was the only female competing in the electronics competition," said Pryce, who attends Gadsden State Community College and works in the laser thermal branch.
Kyle Cummings placed second in the electronics competition.
Jonathon Williams has competed in SkillsUSA for the past four years, beginning with his freshman year in high school. He placed first in machining technology at this year's event.
In the automated manufacturing competition, the depot's three-man team of Anthony Gray, Benjamin Roberts and Anthony Sitz took first place. The trio, who all attend GSCC, have known each other through the depot's cooperative education program for three years and found they worked well together and complemented each other's abilities.
"We felt very confident going into the competition," said Sitz.
The team had to draw a print for a part, program a machine to make the part and then make it while accommodating change orders.
Cody Couch took second in diesel technology, Kenneth Beegle took third in computer numerical control milling and Jason Wood took third in CNC turning.
In June, the first place winners in each category will compete at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Mo.