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ECCA sends five students to national conference
Mallory Ambrose, Jake Walbert and Cole Pickard show off a picture. The logistics team from Effingham College and Career Academy, under the the guidance of Ashley Kieffer, was 20th at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham College and Career Academy’s SkillsUSA chapter attended the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City from June 23-27. This year’s conference marked the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference for SkillsUSA, a showcase of career and technical education students.

The ECCA earned seats for five students to compete at the national level in their content area. Each student had to earn first place in their contest area in order to compete at the national level.

Tatiana Jorge, a student at South Effingham High School, won first at region and state in advertising design and finished 14th in the nation.

Michael Ryan, also a SEHS student, was first in the region and the state in motorcycle service technology and was 18th in the nation.

Jake Walbert and Cole Pickard from SEHS and Mallory Ambrose from Effingham County High School were first in the state in logistics and 20th in the nation.

The SkillsUSA Championships are the showcase for the best career and technical students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels.This is a multi-million dollar event that occupies a space equivalent to 16 football fields. In 2013, there were nearly 6,000 contestants in 98 separate events.

Nearly 1,500 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible.

The philosophy of the championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.