A successful year for the Rend Lake College Chapter of SkillsUSA-VICA reached a stunning conclusion recently when 11 members earned state recognition and Freshman Heather Sanders advanced to finish seventh in the nation.
Both Sanders (Dix) and Kelly Qualls (Benton) earned the right to represent Illinois at the National SkillsUSA Competition held in Kansas City, KS, by placing second in Architectural Drafting and first in Advertising Design, respectively, during 39th Annual Illinois State Championships competition held in Springfield.
Sanders then parlayed her state success into an impressive showing at nationals. RLC Architectural Technology Professor and SkillsUSA-VICA Advisor Kevin Weston described her seventh-in-the-nation performance "pretty amazing, especially for a first year student."
"We’re very proud of Heather’s accomplishments and look forward to next year," concluded Weston.
First-place Illinois winner Qualls was unable to attend the national competition due to a scheduling conflict.
State competition began with an Opening Ceremony in which Rend Lake College was presented with the First-Place trophy for Post-Secondary Chapter Membership Growth for 2003, a repeat honor for which the college received honors the previous year as well.
Also gaining state recognition were: Greg Porter (Pinckneyville), 2nd Place in Advertising Design; Kelly Friedrich (McLeansboro), 3rd Place in Advertising Design; Derick Hamilton (Mt. Vernon), 4th Place in Advertising Design; David Carter (Mt. Vernon), 2nd Place in Culinary Arts; Tom Hughes (Christopher), 3rd Place in Culinary Arts; Karen Smith (Goldgate), 4th Place in Culinary Arts; Chris Presswood (Mt. Vernon), 4th Place in Automotive Service Technology; Corey Harris (Mt. Vernon), 4th in Architectural Drafting-CAD, and Amber Hill (Galatia), 2nd Place in Architectural Board Drafting.
Other members of the Rend Lake College contingent included Michael Bourland (Mt. Vernon), Joe Curlee (Goreville), Chris Howard (Mt. Vernon), Sam Howard (Mt. Vernon), James Lewis (Bonnie), Daryl Norton (Benton), David Porter (Mt. Vernon) and Sam Wilson (McLeansboro).
Students participated in the regional qualifying examination for the right to compete at the Illinois State Championships. The qualifier was held at Southwestern Illinois College’s Granite City campus back in February.
More than 15,000 students, teachers and business partners attended the week-long event this summer at the H. Roe Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City.
The young RLC chapter was formed during Fall Semester 2000 for students with a common bond in trade, industrial, technical, technology and health occupations. SkillsUSA allows students to develop leadership abilities through participation in educational, vocational, civic, recreational and social activities along with the development of a deep respect for the dignity of work.
More specifically, the Skills-USA-VICA Post-Secondary Division allows for participants from both 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in Extemporaneous Speaking, Prepared Speech, Quiz Bowl, Essay, Internet Homepage, Photography, Advertising Design, Architectural Drafting CAD & Board, Automated Manufacturing, Automotive Service Technology, Aviation Skills, C++ Programming, Carpentry, Collision Repair Technology, Commercial Baking, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Computer Repair Technology, 3D Visualization and Animation, Diesel Equipment Technology, Advertising Design, Cosmetology, Graphic Communications, HVAC, Internetworking, Machine CAD & Board, Microsoft Applications, Preschool Teaching Assistant, Residential Wiring, Welding, Practical Nursing, Basic Health Care Skills and Health Occupations.
Anyone interested in joining the SkillsUSA-VICA chapter at RLC should contact either Dean of Instruction Lisa Payne at 437-5321, Ext. 1335, or SkillsUSA Coordinator Weston at Ext. 1816.