DOWNEY – Thirty-nine Downey Unified students earned gold medals at the SkillsUSA State Competition last week, up from 26 last year.
The competition, held March 31 through April 2, brought together the top SkillsUSA students from across California to compete in areas of technical and soft skills.
Of the 39 Downey students who earned gold medals, 36 will be moving on to the National Championship Competition occurring this summer in Louisville, Ky.
“This final outcome is a true testament to the hard work and focus that our teachers and students put in throughout the entire year,” stated Phil Davis, Downey Unified’s CTE and STEM Director. “This year’s medal count far exceeded any other year.”
In addition to the 39 students who received gold medals, 29 earned silver and 28 brought home bronze medals in a variety of hands-on and job-related competitions, making a grand total of 96 medal recipients combined from Downey Unified.
Gold medal recipients will travel to Louisville on June 20 to represent California in the following areas of competition: Quiz Bowl, Related Technical Math, Esthetics, Engineering Technology/Design, Career Pathway Showcase-Health Science, Masonry, Extemporaneous Speaking, Community Service, Health Knowledge Bowl, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Career Pathway Showcase-Government and Public Administration, and Practical Nursing.
Sweeping some state final events, taking all three positions (bronze, silver and gold), the Downey Unified SkillsUSA Chapter surpassed all other competing districts in the categories of Esthetics, Quiz Bowl and Practical Nursing.
In addition to this fete, two students from Warren High School were elected by their peers to serve as SkillsUSA state officers for the coming year. Victoria Real and Isaac Corona are the second set of SkillsUSA students from Downey Unified to be elected as SkillsUSA student delegates representing the state of California. Real serve as president and Corona will act as treasurer for this year’s SkillsUSA student delegate board.
Currently with over 15,000 school chapters, Downey Unified is the largest chapter involved in SkillsUSA, with one or more students qualifying for Nationals every year since 2009.
Last year resulted in 500 students competing in the Regional Championships, 225 qualifying for the State Championships, 26 making it to Nationals and ultimately culminating with four finishing as National Champions. With a slightly smaller group of students competing in this year’s Regional Competition, Downey Unified still flourished, increasing from receiving 69 medals at the State level last year to 96 medals this year, making that a total growth of approximately 40 percent within one school year.
“It is the goal of Downey Unified to have one or more students take gold at the national level to then qualify internationally to compete at the WorldSkills Competition that is held abroad,” the district said in a statement. “Now more than quadrupling the amount of students competing at the national level this year, the district has high hopes that gold medals will be brought back from Louisville, Ky. and the goal of competing internationally will be attained.”
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure
America has a skilled workforce. Launched in 1967, this National Championship has grown from 54 competitors in three contests to more than 6,000 competitors in 99 hands-on occupational and leadership skill areas.