Massachusetts High School Students are Winners at National Skills Competition- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 11, 1996
Contact:Alan Safran

Massachusetts High School Students are Winners at National Skills Competition

Malden - Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Robert V. Antonucci

announced today that 16 Massachusetts students and two regional vocational technical high schools were among the top winners at the National Skills USA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, last week.

The annual competition highlighting student achievement in job and employability skills is organized by the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education.

Massachusetts was represented by 200 students, teachers and administrators at the competition hosting more than 9,000 delegates from across the nation. The Massachusetts delegation received the 2nd highest medal total of all 50 states with Pennsylvania winning the most.

Of the 51 competitive events entered by Massachusetts, 32 students finished in the top 10, and 27 of these winners finished in the top 5.

Commenting on their outstanding showing, Commissioner Antonucci said, "This stunning achievement is a real tribute to the students, their teachers, their parents, and their schools. We can be very proud of our vocational-technical system in Massachusetts," he added.

Throughout the school year, the Massachusetts Department of Education sponsors VICA activities in schools across the Commonwealth, and these events lead to the national competition.

Winners of the Skills USA Championships will be selected to participate in industry-sponsored training programs, and they will represent the United States in the international competition scheduled for September, 1997, in Stockholm, Sweden.

The following students and schools received gold medals for first place finishes in their fields:

  • Mark D'Andrea, Medford, Minuteman Science Technology High School, for Commercial Baking
  • Taryn Mohan, Holbrook, Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical High School, Culinary Arts
  • Holly Smart, Fitchburg, Montachusett Regional Voc Tech, Job Skill Demonstration
  • Karen Auger, New Bedford, Greater New Bedford RVT, Medical Assisting
  • Shawsheen Valley Reg Voc Tech, Billerica, Health Occupations Knowledge Bowl

Receiving silver medals for second place finishes were:

  • Diman Regional Voc Tech High School, Fall River, Health Occupations Knowledge Bowl
  • Shawn Dorschied, Fairhaven, Greater New Bedford RVTHS, Major Appliance Technology
  • Chantal Harding, New Bedford, Greater New Bedford RVTHS, Nurse Assisting
  • Marc O'Connor, Diman RVTHS, Fall River, Sheet Metal

Bronze medals for third place finishes went to:

  • Jennifer Pierini, North Attleboro, Tri County RVTHS,

    Action Skills

  • Christopher Costa, Rochester, Old Colony High School, Basic Health Care
  • Seth Elie, Diman RVTHS, Fall River, Collision Repair Technology
  • Jeff Blaha, Plymouth South High School, Residential Plumbing

Honor diplomas for fourth place finishes were awarded to:

  • Andrew Bariteau, Greater New Bedford RVTHS, Cabinetmaking &Millwork
  • Melissa Millar, Greater New Bedford RVTHS, Commercial Sewing
  • Eric Tompsen, Hanover, South Shore RVTHS, Electronics


  • Erik Gilley, Harwich, Cape Cod Tech, Marine Service


  • Seth Fair, Worcester Vocational High School, Residential Wiring

The VICA competitions are supported by business, industry, labor and management with an annual investment of $10.5 million nationally in scholarships and in-kind services. This year, Massachusetts business and industry provided more than $750,000 to support the statewide program.

Last Updated: July 11, 1996

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