Watauga High School Students Win Honors in Technology Competitions

Published Monday, April 25, 2016 at 9:30 am
TSA students

From left, front row: Joseph Gragg (faculty adviser for Technology Students Association), Ben Broce, Danielle Brown, Savannah Panjoj, and Nickolas Novacek. Back row: Levi Marland, William Nelsen, Forrest Roberts, and Jacob Burleson.

Students at Watauga High School have scored top finishes in regional and state level competitions of the NC Technology Student Association (TSA).

At the Western Regional Competition in February, students from the high school won first place in Video Game Design, first and third place in the Written Tech Bowl, and third place in Engineering Design. They followed up on this success by taking first place in Video Game Design and second in Written Tech Bowl at the state competition in Greensboro April 14-16.

More than 50 high schools in NC take part in TSA competitions, creating formidable competition at the state level.

As state champions, the Video Game Design team of Nickolas Novacek and Forrest Roberts will now go on to national competition in Nashville June 28 – July 2. In addition to Novacek and Roberts, the WHS students taking part in the TSA competitions included Danielle Brown, Ben Broce, who won second place in the written Tech Bowl, Jacob Burleson, Levi Marland, William Nelsen, and Savannah Panjoj.

Joe Gragg, game art and design teacher at the high school and faculty adviser for the school’s TSA, said his students “were excited to compete at the state level. They worked diligently through many long days to prepare for competitions in Biotechnology Design, Children’s Stories, Engineering Design, Promotional Graphics, Technology Bowl, Technical Problem Solving, and Video Game Design. I am proud of how hard each and every one them worked and I am excited to be taking the Video Game Design team to National Competition.”

The Technology Student Association is a Career and Technical Education (CTE) student organization that serves over 233,000 K-12 students in 2,000 schools in 49 states. The TSA chapter at Watauga High School is relatively new, having begun during the 2014-15 school year.

In addition to strong offerings in academics and the arts, Watauga High School offers a broad range of CTE programs in which students can develop their skills, share ideas, participate in competitions, and become better informed about opportunities for continued education and careers after high school. The Watauga Innovation Academy at the high school, a new initiative this year, is further expanding the ways in which students can explore career opportunities and gain tuition-free college credit as they complete high school.

The graduation rate for the high school reached a record high of 87.9% last year and the annual dropout rate fell to a record low of 1.66%. WHS Principal Marshall Gasperson was recently named the 2016-17 Principal of the Year for the Watauga County Schools.

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