The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk

The Student News Site of Stephen Decatur High School

The Hawk


Battle of the Trades

Cover Story
Mara Minkey
(L to R) Aaliyah Drummond, Charles Shoemaker, Chase Saltzman, Jayden Bodon, and Teresa Guo stand for a photo after completing their respective competitions at Skills USA.

   The Skills USA regional winners from Worcester Technical High School traveled to Baltimore and Westminster to participate in the 2024 Skills USA State Competitions.

   The students competed across many different trades and technical fields, such as welding, masonry, plumbing, robotics, criminal justice, culinary, multimedia design, and medicine. There were also many stdents competing in the Skills USA state offices and doing that kind of work. Many students from Stephen Decatur High School went on the trip.

   Skills USA is a national organization made to help prepare students for entering the workforce, run by and for students. The Skills USA Maryland state conference is an event that allows students from all across Maryland to show off their talents and skills in various technical fields and trades through competitions.

   “It teaches them to be leaders and to hone in on their skills they learn through trades and competition. I believe it gets them work-ready for their jobs,” said Richard Stephens, the Skills USA advisor at Worcester Tech. Students also have the chance to win a gold medal and go to the Skill sUSA national conference.

   SkillsUSA is also very important for Worcester County and our local community. “It means representation for Worcester County, there are many other schools here; from all over Maryland,” said Patrick Haines, the Skills USA Maryland vice president, and student at Stephen Decatur.

   At SkillsUSA Worcester Technical High School gets to make a name for itself. “The more that Worcester Tech goes to championships, they learn more, and there’s more people that would like to join,” said Patrick.

   Even with all of that, Skills USA is also just a fun trip for students, too.

   On Friday, April 12, the Worcester Tech competitors traveled to the BWI Marriott hotel. Some competitions were going on there while the students settled in for the evening. The hotel had a pool and a dinner buffet. Attending students also got to meet students from other schools and possibly make new friends.

   The next day, students got up bright and early for the very long day of competition on Saturday, April 13. Competitions were held in the local area, at the Carroll County Career and Technical Center and the Carroll County Agricultural Center. Competitions began at 8 am. and ended at 2 pm. Many students worked for most of the time, while others presented what they had already made before the competition. Once students were done, they could take a bus to the Agricultural Center where there were games such as chess and cornhole, and food trucks for the students. 

   As students enjoyed themselves at the Agricultural Center, the judges finalized their scores for the 6:30 awards ceremony. It started with SkillsUSA Maryland officers introducing themselves, followed by the very long award ceremony spanning all the competitions. Along with that, they also announced winners for state offices and advisors. The awards concluded around 8:30 pm.

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