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NTU Continues Its Success at State SkillsUSA Competition, Eyes Nationals

CROWNPOINT – Students from Navajo Technical University continued their success competing against technical and vocational schools from across the state of New Mexico, and were awarded 13 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 8 bronze medals at the SkillsUSA state competition, March 30-31, 2017. SkillsUSA is a national organization that serves trade, industrial, technical, and health occupation students by helping them prepare for the workforce and to excel in their field of study. The organization also hosts state and national competitions that test competencies set by industry standards.


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Students from Navajo Technical University pose for a photo at the conclusion of the state SkillsUSA awards banquet at the Crowne Plaze Hotel in Albuquerque. NTU was awarded 13 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 8 bronze medals at the three-day event.


In testing their competencies against the rest of the state, NTU faired rather well. Students taking gold at the competition included: Kevin Harding in Baking; Adriane Tenequer in Extemporaneous Speech; Amber Vallo in Medical Terminology; Marell Charley in Prepared Speech; Matthew Henio in Masonry; Lyndell Allison in Job Skill Demo; Lorena Giesbrecht in the categories of Restaurant Service and Job Interview; Raine Escoto in Preschool Teaching Assistant; Kimberly Jake in Customer Service; Joshua Hoskie in Cabinet Making; Aaron John in Related Technical Math; and the team of Cyrus Coan, Dean Tallis, Cordell Woody and Walter Francis in Teamworks.

Each of the gold medalists will next prepare for the SkillsUSA national competition, in which they’ll take their skills to Louisville, KY to compete against schools from throughout the country, June 19-23. NTU has had success at the national level in the last several years, most recently receiving a bronze medal in Health Knowledge Bowl, a silver medal in the Career Pathways – Business, Management and Technology division, and a gold medal when Culinary Arts major Dexter Dale won the Restaurant Services competition, NTU’s third gold national medal since 2011.


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NTU’s two teams in the Teamworks competition took gold and silver at the state competition where they competed at Lowe’s Home Improvement in building a structure using their carpentry, electrical wiring, and masonry skills. Pictured left to right: Gold medalist - Dean Tallis, Walter Francis, Cordell Woody, Cyrus Coan and instructor Ronaldo Ramirez. Silver medalists - Corey George, Kalem Vandever, Gregory Cruber, and Virgil Begay.


Receiving silver for NTU at the state competition included: Wasey Sandoval in Restaurant Service; Walter Cloud in Culinary Arts; Shaun Curley in Baking; Delchina Largo in Job Skill Demo; Will Ifere in Prepared Speech; Darian Edsitty in Plumming; Raine Escoto in Job Interview; and the team of Corey George, Virgil Begay, Gregory Cruber, and Kalem Vandever in Teamworks. Each silver medalist is designated as an alternate for the national competition if a gold medalist is unable to attend.

Receiving bronze for NTU included: Mark Louis Francisco in Restaurant Service; Garilyn Moone in Culinary Arts; Jean-Marie Holgate in Job Skill Demo; Rashaundal Combs in Electrical Wiring; Joshua Laughing in Extemporaneous Speech; Erin James in Job Skill Demo; Tyrone Begay in Customer Service; and Troy Bigman, Nolan Burnside and Isaac Toledo in Welding Fabrication.


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NTU swept the Restaurant Services competition with Lorena Giesbrecht taking gold, Wasey Sandoval taking silver, and Mark Louis Francisco taking bronze. Giesbrecht also received gold in Job Interview and was elected to be a state officer.


NTU students Aaron John, Levi Draper, and Lorena Giesbrecht were also elected state officers at the competition where they will help SkillsUSA fulfill its mission at the state level by help plan and coordinate state-wide activity and attending officer planning meetings. Both John and Draper served as state officers last year with John serving as the Post-Secondary Secretary and Draper serving as Post-Secondary Vice-President.

For more information about NTU’s participation in the SkillsUSA state competition please contact Julie Bales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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