Students Bring Home Gold After Competing in SkillsUSA National Conference
Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) competed in the SkillsUSA National Conference in Atlanta, June 20-24, and received first place for their efforts in The Opening and Closing Ceremonies competition, bringing home gold medals.
Not only did they take first place, they did so after entering the competition with a 14-point deficit due to one of the team’s members having to drop out unexpectedly.
“For OFTC to go into the competition with a fourteen-point deficit, rally together as a team, and win gold is truly remarkable,” said Janet Smith, OFTC’s Director of Student Life. “Their victory is a testament to the team’s thirst for success, a quality that is seen not just in this team, but in students across OFTC’s campuses.”
“In this way,” she added, “these six students represented this college and its student body phenomenally. They are a most deserving group of students; their dedication, motivation, and professionalism are beyond reproach.”
OFTC has been competing in The Opening and Closing Ceremonies contest, which is a teamwork and oral presentation consisting of the team’s ability to communicate their understanding of the symbolic representation of the Skills emblem, for 15 years.
“It is an amazing task for the students to work so hard to get all the details down to perfection,” Smith said. “I love to observe them as they perform the Opening and Closing ceremony of a meeting, and the pride each of them has as a result of winning GOLD at Nationals is just the icing on the cake.”
Smith says the college hopes other students will see the team’s success and become interested in joining the SkillsUSA club and other student organizations at OFTC.
The OFTC students who garnered national recognition are Antonio Bell (Laurens), Bailey Creamer (Laurens), Josh Thomas (Laurens), Chris Wilson (Laurens), Parker Fountain (Johnson), and Nicole Shenk (Johnson).
The SkillsUSA team spends a great deal of time preparing for the state and national events. OFTC instructors, Kim Meeks, Anna Reese, and Michael Faulknor spent countless hours practicing and advising the students before both the state and national competition.