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WHS Students Win Honors at SkillsUSA Conference

Abigail McDannold (left) and Sierra Mueller were first place winners at the NC SkillsUSA Conference.

May 2, 2012. Seven students from Watauga High School finished in the top three in competition among 3,500 students attending the NC SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference in Greensboro.

Those achieving a top three ranking included Sierra Mueller, who won first place in cosmetology skills; Abby McDannold, Vanessa Greene, and Elaina Gragg, who placed first, second, and third, respectively, in beginning cosmetology; Skylar Hicks, who ranked second in welding; Seth Smalling, who placed third in carpentry, and Alle Workman, who won third in fantasy hair and makeup.

In addition to the seven top three finishers, students Garret Watson (automotive technology) and Andrea Howell (beginning cosmetology) placed in the top five in their categories.

Mueller’s first place showing in cosmetology skills gives her the opportunity to compete for further honors at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Missouri in late June.

“We are proud of all 31 students who made the commitment to prepare and participate in this conference,” remarked Piper Woodring, instructor at Watauga High School. “We are thankful for the support of their families and for the assistance of all the faculty members at the high school who made it possible for them to be part of this great event.”

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization that describes itself as “a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.” The organization works with high school and college students preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA has 13,000 school chapters serving over 300,000 students and teachers nationwide and in U.S. territories.

Watauga High School is a comprehensive high school with an enrollment of approximately 1,450 students. It is rated a NC School of Distinction on the state’s school accountability model for assessing student proficiency and academic growth.