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CTE students to compete in state SkillsUSA 

After besting their competition at regionals, nearly 100 Garland ISD students are on their way to compete in the state round of the SkillsUSA Texas Leadership and Skills Conference, March 26-28 in Corpus Christi.

Fourteen Audio Video Production Magnet students from Lakeview Centennial High School are among the contenders who will represent GISD at state. The talented Patriots swept all five of their categories, which included everything from digital cinema to radio production.

“It was kind of a shocking realization, to learn that we won first place in all categories,” said TV Production Broadcast teacher Greg Paschal. “We have placed in every event before, but never have we gotten first in everything. It is very gratifying, but we have some really good kids, which is not unusual.”

Nineteen Auto Collision Repair students from South Garland High School will join their Lakeview counterparts, having also earned first place in their respective categories.

“I am really proud of what my students have done. They stayed after school, worked weekends and a snow day to get their projects completed,” said Auto Collision Repair teacher Craig Baughman. “They are really looking forward to competing at state to see how they compare with other schools.”

Like their fellow GISD state challengers, both groups prepared by holding mock competitions, honing their skills and reworking projects in anticipation to bring a second win home.

“We did not win Best in Show at district, and are hoping that some of the additional work we did in preparation will put us in the running for that award,” Baughman explained.

But winning is not the ultimate prize. Baughman and Paschal see many more benefits to this challenge-driven experience.

“The desire to win drives students to dig and learn at a deeper level than they might reach otherwise,” Paschal revealed. “The experience students gain from working at a high level in a high-pressure situation is invaluable for their future success. I also hope that working in a team teaches students humility. It is not all about ‘me’ and sometimes we need to defer to others, work together and find a greater strength through teamwork.”

For more information on SkillsUSA, visit the competition’s website.

Story photos courtesy of Craig Baughman and Greg Paschal