Woodland High School’s SkillsUSA team selected as National Model of Excellence, qualifies for nationals

Kimberly Miller selected as National Advisor of the Year

WOODLAND — SkillsUSA identified Woodland High School’s team as one of 24 National Models of Excellence, the organization’s highest honor, and Kimberly Miller, the team’s advisor and a CTE teacher at the school, was awarded National Advisor of the Year for Region 5 which encompasses 12 states and territories.

SkillsUSA students also have the opportunity to compete in conferences featuring more than 100 categories from a myriad of different employment industries. Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools
SkillsUSA students also have the opportunity to compete in conferences featuring more than 100 categories from a myriad of different employment industries. Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools

Woodland’s team was selected for honors after recently competing at the regional level, placing first in the state, and winning the Washington State Chapter of Distinction Gold Medal which also qualifies the team to compete at the national level. Four students, Caitlin Nelson, Katelyn Paulson, Oliver Rosa and Nansi Valenzuela, wrote the team goals and documented the activities put on by the chapter throughout the year which included fundraisers and community events. 

Kimberly Miller, the SkillsUSA team's advisor and a CTE teacher at Woodland High School, was selected as Region 5's Advisor of the Year. Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools
Kimberly Miller, the SkillsUSA team’s advisor and a CTE teacher at Woodland High School, was selected as Region 5’s Advisor of the Year. Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools

“Our entire chapter took part in the activities throughout the year and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Miller. “I truly believe in this student leadership organization because I have seen first-hand the opportunity for growth it brings to the students who participate.”

In order to receive National Advisor of the Year honors, the SkillsUSA organization evaluated how Miller included the SkillsUSA Framework into her classroom curriculum as well as the chapter’s activities. 

“To me, the SkillsUSA components fit naturally into our Career and Technical Education program as they provide the building blocks for any strong program,” said Miller. “By focusing on the framework, the team becomes very intentional about planning our program of work for the year, looking at all of the activities we plan to do to ensure they align with the framework.”

Woodland High School's SkillsUSA chapter must set goals each year and document the events and activities put on the team like the holiday 2019 fundraiser (pictured here). Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools
Woodland High School’s SkillsUSA chapter must set goals each year and document the events and activities put on the team like the holiday 2019 fundraiser (pictured here). Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools

SkillsUSA’s framework consists of personal skills, workplace skills, and technical skills, all grounded in academics. With thousands of competitors nationally, the 24 chapters selected as National Models of Excellence must truly work to stand out from the performances of other schools’ teams. 

“Our Models of Excellence represent the very best in chapter achievement and community involvement,” said Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA. “These students represent America’s future skilled workforce and are future leaders in their local communities.”

A panel of judges at the national level will evaluate the 24 Models of Excellence in June to identify one chapter for top honors. The panel evaluates each school team’s goals, plan of action, results and SkillsUSA framework integration followed by interviews with each finalist chapter and adviser conducted by business and industry partners.

SkillsUSA offers high school students the opportunity to compete in 100 different workplace categories. Categories focus on technical, workplace and personal skills including early childhood education, culinary arts, computer literacy, customer service, professional development, and public speaking among many others.

Woodland’s team demonstrated service orientation and job-specific skills in three areas: Computer and Technology Literacy; Safety and Health; and Professional Development. During the conferences held at the regional, state, and national level, students compete in events defined per category which may include a combination of written and practical activities. Two Woodland students, Paulson and Valenzuela, will represent the chapter and compete at the nationals virtually, giving a presentation to industry professionals accompanied by national SkillsUSA personnel immediately followed by a period of interview questions.

In addition to competing in conferences, the SkillsUSA team organizes fundraisers and food drives throughout the year like the Empty Bowl fundraiser pictured here in Fall 2019. Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools
In addition to competing in conferences, the SkillsUSA team organizes fundraisers and food drives throughout the year like the Empty Bowl fundraiser pictured here in Fall 2019. Photo courtesy of Woodland Public Schools

Miller first learned about the SkillsUSA program from teachers in neighboring school districts nearly 10 years ago. 

“When we first started, we only competed in one category, but now we compete in restaurant service, job interview, community service, chapter excellence, medical terminology, pin design, extemporaneous speech, job demo and so much more,” she said. “In order for the team to succeed, I’m at the school a lot after hours helping the students; I make the time commitment because I see the difference the program makes for our kids.”

Woodland High School students interested in joining SkillsUSA can reach out to Kim Miller via email at millerk@woodlandschools.org or visit the SkillsUSA website at www.skillsusa.org for more information.

About the SkillsUSA program:

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of education and industry founded in 1965 to strengthen the nation’s skilled workforce. Driven by employer demand, SkillsUSA helps students develop necessary personal and workplace skills along with technical skills grounded in academics. This SkillsUSA Framework empowers every student to succeed at work and in life, while helping to close the skills gap in which millions of positions go unfilled. Through SkillsUSA’s championships program and curricula, employers have ensured schools are teaching relevant technical skills, and with SkillsUSA’s new credentialing process, they can now assess how ready potential employees are for the job. SkillsUSA has more than 372,000 annual members nationwide in high schools, middle schools and colleges, covering over 130 trade, technical and skilled service occupations, and is recognized by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor as integral to career and technical education. For more information, visit their website at www.skillsusa.org

To learn more about how Woodland Public Schools continues educating students and serving the community during the statewide closure, visit the dedicated news webpage at https://www.woodlandschools.org/home-learning-stories

Information provided by Woodland Public Schools.

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