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Paso Robles High School students earn medals at state SkillsUSA Competition 

PRHS Skills USA state conference participants.

PRHS Skills USA state conference participants.

–The Paso Robles High School SkillsUSA members competed this past weekend at the 50th Annual California State Leadership & Skills Conference in San Diego. SkillsUSA, whose mission is to provide educational programs, events, and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms, has seen its membership in California double in the past year. PRHS offers the largest selection of CTE courses in San Luis Obispo County which are included within 16 different college and career pathways.

Early Childhood Education winners with advisor (left to right)- Brenda Matthyse, Carina Ezzell, Taylor Pafumi, Alexandra Jenks.

Early Childhood Education winners with advisor (left to right)- Brenda Matthyse, Carina Ezzell, Taylor Pafumi, Alexandra Jenks.

PRHS sent a total of 69 students and competed against 2200 others from throughout the state. These students earned the opportunity to compete at the state level by winning medals at the Region 2 contest held at PRHS this past February. The students’ hard work paid off this past weekend as 27 of them returned with medals.

Welding gold medalists with advisor (l to r)- Alfredo Saucedo, Mikayla Stone, Iver Hansen, Justin Pickard.

Welding gold medalists with advisor (l to r)- Alfredo Saucedo, Mikayla Stone, Iver Hansen, Justin Pickard.

One of the highlights from this weekend was a clean sweep by PRHS in Early Childhood Education with Bearcats winning all three medals – Taylor Pafumi (gold), Alexandra Jenks (silver), and Carina Ezzell (bronze). Iver Hansen, who has won numerous FFA events this year as part of the FFA Welding Technology team, continued his success in welding by adding a gold medal in that category. Mason Steiner, who placed second nationally last year, won the state gold medal in plumbing for the third consecutive year. And for the first time ever in the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, two all-girl robotics teams from Daniel E. Lewis Middle School attended the state conference and won gold and silver medals in Mobile Robotics Technology – Julia and Natalie Hurd (gold), Malia Gaviola and Maria Swing (silver).

Mason Steiner.

Mason Steiner.

Ten students who earned gold medals will advance to the National Leadership & Skills Conference this June in Louisville, Kentucky. Students advancing : Nick Matteson (Carpentry), Jonathan Russell (Diesel), Taylor Pafumi (Early Childhood Education), Alim BenBrahim (Electrical Construction Wiring), and Wesley Radecki (Power Equipment), Mason Steiner (Plumbng), Eli Lewis (Technology Communications Application), Mason Brown (Telecommunications Cabling), Iver Hansen (Welding), and Mikayla Stone (Welding Structure). Also earning a gold medal was Alfredo Saucedo (Welding Arc). His event is a California-only contest and does not advance to the national competition.

Silver Medalists: Maria Vargas (20 Second Elevator Speech), Shannon Stel (Culinary), Alexandra Jenks (Early Childhood Education), Taylor Pafumi (Job interview), Temple Bushie (Mobile Electronics), Joanna Diaz (Telecommunications Cable), Christopher Garcia (Audio/Radio I), Kyle Meeder (Audio/Radio I), and Jared Thompson (Welding Sculpture).

Bronze Medalists: Carina Ezzell (Early Childhood Education), Lilly Seebart (First Aid), Madison Harris (Job Interview), Serae Collins (Mobile Electronics), Ethan Brown-Silva (Power Equipment), Ryan Phillips (Web Design), and Elizabeth Phillips (Web Design).

Girlbots from Daniel E. Lewis Middle School with advisor (l to r)- Maria Swing, Natalie Hurd, Julia Hurd, Malia Gaviola, Justin Ward.

Girlbots from Daniel E. Lewis Middle School with advisor (l to r)- Maria Swing, Natalie Hurd, Julia Hurd, Malia Gaviola, Justin Ward.

Coming up is the Annual Sponsor Appreciation Dinner on May 17th at the Culinary Arts Center on Golden Hill Road. This dinner is in appreciation of the volunteers and financial supporters of SkillsUSA Chapter 211 (PRHS). Many local business and industry partners make financial and in-kind contributions which are used for student costs such as registration, hotels, travel, contest clothing, equipment, and needed supplies. Anyone interested in becoming a SkillsUSA financial partner should contact Randy Canaday rcanaday@pasoschools.org or call (805) 674-4170.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.

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