Area Students Compete At SkillsUSA Competition

High school students from Jamestown, Clymer, Frewsburg and Sherman high schools who attend Career & Technical Education Programs at the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Hewes Educational Center performed exceptionally at the recent SkillsUSA Area 1 Regional Conference at Alfred State College. Despite fierce competition from students throughout the greater Western New York region, these students won first and second place in their respective competitions, demonstrating their professionalism, skill and expertise.

A team of three students – seniors Harleigh Moon from Sherman High School, Kyle Piscitelli from Clymer High School, and Jasman Campbell from Frewsburg High School – won first place in the Crime Scene Investigation Competition. Harleigh, Kyle and Jasman study criminal justice at the Hewes Center with Instructor Daniel DePietro.

Senior Austin Cramer from Clymer High School won first place in the Auto Body Helper Competition. Senior Zachary Davis from Jamestown High School also won first place in the Auto Body Collision & Refinishing Technology Competition. Austin and Zachary study Automotive Body Repair at the Hewes Center with Instructor Doug Smith, and their respective wins were big for the program since it is rare for students from the same program at the same school to win first place in two different competitions.

Finally, junior Jacob Webster from Jamestown High School won second place in the Conservation Competition. Jacob studies Conservation/Natural Resource Management at the Hewes Center with Instructor Jeff Angeletti.

Their instructors, as well as Denise Waterman, E2CCB teaching assistant and SkillsUSA advisor at the Hewes Center, expressed pride in their achievements and admiration for their exceptional performances and professionalism during the conference. Harleigh, Kyle and Jasman had to work together to demonstrate their abilities in numerous tasks related to investigating crime scenes, like crime scene photography, identifying and securing evidence, and fingerprinting.

Jacob had to demonstrate his expertise and knowledge in many areas related to conservation and beat out many high school seniors with an extra year of experience under their belts.

Both Austin and Zachary had to demonstrate their expertise in areas related to automotive body repair, like fixing a dent in a piece of painted sheet metal to precise specifications and conducting an exact estimate on a damaged automobile.

“It put us in a new environment, pitting us against people from other schools,” Austin said.

“We had to use our time wisely. It definitely puts you under the gun in a real-life situation,” Zachary added. “I’m just proud of the win. I went in there with the attitude of getting it done and it paid off.”

SkillsUSA is a national organization that promotes academic excellence and professionalism among high school students enrolled in career and technical education programs such as those offered by the E2CC BOCES.