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Five Penn College Students Advance to SkillsUSA Nationals


Five Pennsylvania College of Technology students earned gold medals at the recent Pennsylvania SkillsUSA Conference, qualifying them for national competition from June 26-29 in Kansas City, Mo.

They were among the 12 Penn College competitors who returned with medals from the statewide competition, which was held March 28-30 at the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute in Allentown. Six placed second and another brought home a third-place medal.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving 284,000 teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health careers.

The college’s first-place winners and their competition categories are Sarah J. Turbitt, Milton, Food and Beverage; Westley A. Smith, Mifflinburg, Welding; Andrew J. Vorndran, Ontario, N.Y., Collision Repair; Matthew E. Pfeiffer, Lancaster, Diesel Equipment; and Carl Gravely, Arona, Industrial Motor Control.

Second-place honors were earned by Derek Richards, Lititz, Culinary Arts; Michael A. McLaughlin, Williamsport, Kristofer C. Seipp, Randolph, N.J., and Dale C. Tennett, Perkasie, all Automated Manufacturing Technology; Nicholas R. Rieber, Harrisburg, Automotive Service Technology; and Erik S. Horn, Bangor, Plumbing.

Joshua N. Sachs, Silver Springs, Md., finished third in the Architectural Drafting competition.

Seven other students also competed for Penn College: Kathryn M. Crater, Julian, in the Preschool Teaching Assistant category; Christopher B. Shirley, Indiana, Masonry; Annie M. Kinney, Milton, Commercial Baking; Carlos D. Gomez, Williamsport, Residential Wiring; Christina L. Robidoux, Williamsport, Job Interview; Christopher M. Hile, Boyertown, Technical Drafting; and Westley A. Ormsbee, Gardners, Graphic Communication.

Joshua W. Brunk, Richmond, N.H., president of Penn College’s SkillsUSA chapter, also attended as a candidate for national office.

Faculty advisers for the college’s student competitors are Edward L. Roadarmel, assistant professor of drafting and computer aided design; Dale J. Kissinger, instructor of HVAC technology/plumbing and heating; and Larry B. Leavitt, associate professor of automotive technology.

Last year’s SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference featured more than 4,800 competitors in 84 events. Since 2000, 59 Penn College students have gone on to compete at that level, 15 of them returning as medalists.

For more information about Penn College, call toll-free (800) 367-9222 or visit online .

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