Tewksbury Students Help Shawsheen Tech Sparkle at Skills USA Event
Shawsheen collects 38 medals at district competition.
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the administration of Shawsheen Tech.)
When it comes to the prestigious Skills USA competitions that are held at high schools throughout the country each spring, there’s generally a feeling around Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica--March happiness.
Recently, 152 students from Shawsheen Tech participated in the district competition and more than 30 percent of those students came home with medals.
Eighteen gold and 20 silver medals came back to Billerica. Generally, all first and second-place performances earn trips to the state finals.
Senior Michael Flores of Wilmington, who was a national gold medalist last year, brought home more hardware after finishing first in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.
Senior Steven Simas of Tewksbury, who also reached the national finals last year in Kansas, similarly took a step toward returning with a first-place finish in Technical Drafting.
Shawsheen Tech also swept the Medical Assistant and Marine Service Technology categories.
In Medical Assisting, junior Christine O’Brien of Burlington won gold, senior Vanessa Riley of Tewksbury earned silver and senior Julia Madden of Tewksbury captured bronze. According to Heidi Lloyd, a graphic arts instructor at Shawsheen Tech and the school’s Skills USA advisor, all three girls will advance to the state conference on April 28 in Marlborough.
The sweep of the Marine Service Technology competition was led by senior gold-medalist Anthony Armstrong of Burlington, second-place performer junior Joseph Anderson of Wilmington and Cody Hersee, a senior from Burlington, who was third. All three medalists will also advance to the state finals.
“Shawsheen will take approximately 66 students to the state conference,” said Lloyd. “Gold-medal winners from this conference move on to the national conference held in Kansas City at the end of June.”
Shawsheen Tech students worked together to once again take gold in the Team Works competition, one of the most entertaining contests of the event that combines several different vocations. Shawsheen’s winning foursome was comprised of senior Rich Curtain of Billerica in plumbing, senior Dylan Leone of Tewksbury in electrical, junior Chris Clayton of Billerica in masonry and sophomore Matt McGrath of Wilmington in carpentry.
Two other seniors brought home gold. Steven Robichaud of Billerica was a winner in Industrial Motor Control and Alexis Fielding of Wilmington took the top spot in CNC Turning Technology.
Other junior gold medalists include Dayna Jean of Tewksbury in Automotive Refinishing Technology, Amanda Vocell of Tewksbury in Basic Health Care Skills, Tommi Hurley of Burlington in Commercial Baking, Francesco Catizone of Tewksbury in Electronics Technology, Dave Scroxton of Billerica in Food and Beverage Service, Hannah Stebbins of Wilmington in Precision Machining Technology and Nicole Morrell of Tewksbury in Medical Terminology.
One sophomore, Melissa DuBuque of Billerica, brought home gold in First Aid and CPR.
Additional seniors taking home silver from Shawsheen Tech were Jessica Houghton of Billerica in Architectural Drafting, Sydnie Lopolito of Tewksbury in Cosmetology, Steven Donovan of Billerica in Electronics Technology, Courtney Woods of Billerica in Office Computer Applications, Kristifer Galdi of Billerica in Plumbing, Ben Hurley of Wilmington in Residential Wiring and Stephen Assetta of Burlington in Web Design.
Nine other juniors earned silver, a group consisting of Jessica Kenney of Tewksbury in Web Design, Tyler MacDonald of Wilmington in Power Equipment Technology, Edward Loud of Wilmington in Diesel Equipment Technology, Danielle James of Billerica in Customer Service, Keenan Goodwin of Tewksbury in Culinary Arts, Jessica Silva of Wilmington in Cosmetology and a group of three in Automated Manufacturing Technology, Ryan Frautten of Tewksbury, Mario Merino of Billerica and Mikayla Radcliff of Billerica.
Two sophomores earned silver including Michael Palmisano of Tewksbury in Sheet Metal and Rachel Hobbs of Billerica in First Aid and CPR.
Rounding out the Shawsheen Tech award winners with bronze medals were senior Andrea Borges of Tewksbury and junior Kelly Bowers of Tewksbury in CNC Milling Technology, junior Tyler Muraca of Billerica in Electronics Technology, senior Robert Neal of Billerica in HVAC, senior Matthew Murphy of Billerica in Sheet Metal and senior Jesse Dillon of Tewksbury in Plumbing.
Lloyd said the state competition is an exciting opportunity for Shawsheen Tech students to enjoy.
“After the contests are completed all students are treated to a variety of activities ranging from a dance to different gaming systems,” she said. “It’s a nice opportunity for students to meet with students from all over the state that are enrolled in technical programs like theirs. On Saturday all students dress for the awards ceremony and closing ceremony. This is quite a sight to see, there will be over 2000 students competing.”