Whitman Has Four SkillsUSA Winners

Students who attend both Walt Whitman and BOCE’s Wilson Tech are experiencing the best of both worlds. “Wilson Tech allows me to do what I really enjoy the most,” said Blossom Ungurath, a Whitman junior, who won third place in Video Production. “I really like being in a setting that reinforces the area I’m studying.”

Nicholas Marcopoulous, also a Whitman junior, was another third-place winner in Video Production. “It's the video editing I love the most,” said Nick. “I like taking all the pieces and making something interesting.” Next year Nick plans on bringing his expertise to Whitman’s acclaimed Video Yearbook.  

Hayley Chea is a Wilson cosmetology student who, as a Whitman senior, will graduate this June and will continue her cosmetology studies next year, earning her professional license. Hayley won second place for Extemporaneous Speaking. “You really have to be on your toes,” said Hayley. “We’re given a subject at the very last minute--and in my case it was not cosmetology--and you have 3 minutes to prepare a 4-minute speech on whatever that subject is. It's a challenge!”

Both James Fileccia and Brandon Conklin, who are studying computer networking and repair/technical electronics, took home first-place awards in Quiz Bowl, a competition involving teams who answer questions  on a wide variety of subjects, most of which pertain to the SkillsUSA organization. 

SkillsUSA is a national student organization that offers leadership, citizenship, and character development programs to complement the skills training that vocational students receive in career and technical programs at Wilson Tech. The skills competition required students to demonstrate the skills they had learned in their tech programs. Congratulations to these fine Whitman students who take learning outside the box.

Photo: Whitman Principal Ms. Kathleen Acker, center, enjoys congratulating her Wilson Tech SkillsUSA winners, left to right: Brandon Conklin, Blossom Ungurath, Nicholas Marcopoulous, Hayley Chea, and James Fileccia.