Tennessee college students win 42 medals at SkillsUSA national competitions

Tennessee students celebrate victories at SkillsUSA national competitions

A total of 42 students from 12 Tennessee technical and community colleges won medals at the 2019 SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference by demonstrating their knowledge and expertise across an array of career and technical fields.

Tennessee college students won three Gold medals, 10 Silver and 29 Bronze medals in the NLSC national championships June 22-26 in Louisville, Ky. -- one more medal than the 41 they won last year. In addition, 38 students from 13 campuses were Top Ten certificate winners, scoring at the 90th percentile and above on their exams.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure the country has a skilled workforce. The SkillsUSA national championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. Winners of Gold medals at this year’s SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference in Chattanooga in April advanced to the nationals.

“Our students are among the best trained and prepared students in the nation, as underscored again in this year’s results at the national SkillsUSA championships,” said Joy Rich, Director of Experiential Learning at The College System of Tennessee and Postsecondary SkillsUSA State Director.

“Tennessee has the largest SkillsUSA postsecondary membership of any state. That, combined with our showing in the national championships, emphasize the quality of the career and technical education being delivered at our colleges. And that quality instruction benefits the students and their families – and Tennessee’s economy,” Rich said.

Career and technical education students in high school also participate in the competitions. This year, 22 Tennessee high school students won medals at the national championships.

Each of the 103 competitions at the SkillsUSA Championships falls under one of 11 categories: Arts and Communications, Construction, Health Sciences, Hospitality and Tourism, Human Services, Information Technology, Leadership, Manufacturing, Public Safety, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and Transportation.

2019 medal winners from Tennessee’s colleges:

Gold Medals

  • Medical Terminology: Carly Steinbacher, TCAT Chattanooga
  • Diesel Equipment Technology: Aaron Heath, TCAT Harriman
  • Welding Sculpture: Caleb Harris, TCAT Oneida-Huntsville

Silver Medals

  • Employment Application Process: Racquel Harrison, TCAT Chattanooga
  • Nurse Assisting: Laquinta Gallishaw-Gonzalez, TCAT Chattanooga
  • Quiz Bowl:  Matthew Campbell, Mark Mize, Patrick Bolton, Charles Gardner, Mary Tomlin, team from TCAT Pulaski
  • Robotics Urban Search and Rescue: Abimael Vasquez, Kody Little, team from TCAT Whiteville
  • Telecommunications Cabling: Joseph Yuhas, TCAT Whiteville

Bronze Medals

  • Career Pathways—Arts and Communication: Kimberly Driscoll, Diamone Fitten, Cherylmaine Stanley, team from TCAT Chattanooga
  • Career Pathways—Business, Management, and Technology: Andrew James Catalano, Brandon Tallent, Samuel Swenson, team from TCAT Chattanooga
  • Career Pathways—Health Services: Tracy Whited, Abigail Pollock, Cheyenne Hixson, team from TCAT Chattanooga
  • Career Pathways—Industrial and Engineering Technology: Tevin Carter, Sr, Brady Looker, Joshua Givands, team from TCAT Memphis
  • Computer Programming: Kevin Spakes, Roane State Commnunity College
  • Cyber Security: Cory Watson, Dylan Tipton, team from Roane State Community College
  • Engineering Technology Design: Edward Ballard, Troy Matthews, Micah Batson, team from TCAT Morristown
  • Esthetics: Emma Watts, TCAT Nashville
  • Job Interview Skills: Amy Griffith, TCAT Chattanooga
  • Major Appliance and Refrigeration Technology: Joey Meeks, TCAT McKenzie
  • Mechatronics: Paul Cowdrey, Randy Duncan, team from TCAT Hohenwald
  • Medical Math: Caitlin Drayer, TCAT Dickson
  • Power Equipment Technology: Kyle Willard, TCAT Chattanooga
  • Prepared Speech: Lydia Reed, TCAT Chattanooga
  • Promotional Bulletin Board: Hope Laferry, Madelyn Lewis, Marissa Roberson, team from TCAT Chattanooga


For more information on the SkillsUSA national competitions, visit https://www.skillsusa.org/competitions/skillsusa-championships/

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.