On March 17th Whittier sent more than 130 students to the SkillsUSA District Competition and they came home with 30 medals. Those students who won gold and silver competed in the statewide SkillsUSA competition in late April in Marlboro.
A graphics student and a masonry student from Whittier Tech both proved to be the best in the state at that competition, both taking home gold medals. Two Whittier culinary students also won first and second place awards for cake decorating in the Techspo event.
Senior Alicia Gould won gold for her photography, a career she plans to pursue in college. Her work came out on top over 14 other students in a five-part photography contest that included a print competition, field assignment, portrait studio, digital editing and troubleshooting digital images.
"I had done it the year before so I knew what to expect," Alicia said. "I was pretty relaxed." She won a gold medal in photography at districts this year and a bronze at states last year. "One part of the competition was fixing an heirloom photo, which I do all the time in shop," she said.
Senior Matt Palmer won gold over 10 competitors for the brick and mortar composite contestants were required to build over six hours. He earned an edge, he said, by using wall ties, which hold the bricks to the block and were worth 10 points. "I was pretty excited," he said. Matt currently has a co-op job at Tile Expressions in Groveland and is pursuing options for college.
In the annual Techspo event at SkillsUSA, members enter a display they have created to show how they have applied the skills and education they received through career and technical training. Whittier Sophomore Destiny Alicea captured first with her "pillow cake" - a four-foot pile of embossed pillows with a tiara on top. She said she got the idea from watching a baking show. "The woman was making a pillow cake and I wanted to try it," she said. "I looked really cool." Her classmate, Junior Natasha Collins won second place for her cake of a swimming pool, inspired by the pool in her backyard. "I enjoyed making it," she said. "It reminded me of when I was little."