GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Gwinnett Tech students advance to SkillsUSA Championships

Gwinnett Technical College was awarded 11 medals in eight events at the recent SkillsUSA State Championships held in Columbus.

Seven students earned gold medals and will represent Gwinnett Tech and the state of Georgia at the National SkillsUSA Championships in June.

The SkillsUSA State Championships showcase the skills of postsecondary students through hands-on competitions in leadership, health occupations, trades/industry and technical contests. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization that serves teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.

In addition to the five gold medals, Gwinnett Tech students earned four silver medals.

Winners include:

• Kris Griffin: Gold medal in carpentry

• Jennifer La Porte: Gold medal in commercial baking

• Starr Petronell: Gold medal in commercial photography

• Christopher Krekemeyer: Gold medal in welding

• Vadim Nakonechnyy, Clay Allen and Colin Stephens: Gold medal in welding fabrication

• Levi Stanley: Silver medal in cabinetmaking

• Chris Chestnut: Silver medal in carpentry

• Lisa Barton: Silver medal in culinary arts

• Nancie Phillips: Silver medal in welding sculpture

Gwinnett Tech students win design competition

Four Gwinnett Technical College computer information systems students are the winners of the GOAL and Rick Perkins Award Winners’ Book design competition conducted by the Technical College System of Georgia.

Gwinnett Tech student winners include Andre Connell, Adrienne Dooms, Kris Jensen and Richard Sierra. The winning design was a group project the students completed in John Thacher’s web graphics using Photoshop class in the winter quarter. Thacher is the program director for web design at Gwinnett Tech.

The students’ winning design will be used on all the publications TCSG chooses, but specifically for the Winners’ Book and banquet program for the GOAL and Rick Perkins Award. Each of the students will be credited with their photo featured in the Winners’ Book and awarded a $200 check.

Gwinnett Tech students recognized at DECA


Eleven Gwinnett Technical College students received top honors at the Collegiate DECA (Distributed Education Clubs of America) state conference, earning the opportunity to compete at the Collegiate DECA international event.

DECA is an international organization for high school and college students that prepare them to become emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in business, sales, marketing, finance, sports marketing, hospitality and management across the nation.

Gwinnett Tech student state winners and honorees include:

• De’Jhan Elam and Lola Robinson: First-place team in Business Ethics division

• Luis Martinez and Haseena Peera: First-place team in Business Law division

• Cassy Schnaltz and Alisha Ellis: First-place team in International Marketing division

• Keith Candeto and Mat Adamczy: Second-place team in Business-to-Business Marketing division

• J.J. Ferina: Second-place individual in Retail Management division

• Damon Anderson: Third-place individual in Sales Representative division

• Jessica Deresch: Fourth-place individual in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing division

All participating students are enrolled in Gwinnett Tech’s marketing management program. Both Adamczy and Peera were elected to the state student leadership positions of president and treasurer/secretary, respectively. Candeto will serve as statewide chair of recruitment.

Perry Hidalgo, faculty adviser and Collegiate DECA state treasurer and adviser, was awarded Georgia Collegiate DECA advisor of the year. Hidalgo is the program director for Gwinnett Tech’s marketing management and sport management programs.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.