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Tech students earn honors

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 The Bullitt County Area Technology Center had four competitors in Louisville April 16-19th and returned with a state winner, Alyssa Hensley, 16, in Graphic Communications. Automotive Mechanics student James Huddleston, 17, earned Second Place in Automotive 1.

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Jacob Numann, 18, and Dylan Davis, 18, also earned the right to compete thanks to their efforts at regional competition.

BCATC Principal Brady Southwood said he was, “Very proud of these students. They did well and showed a lot of school and district pride while in the city representing the Bullitt County ATC and BCPS.”

These students also received honors from the Sixth Regional Skills USA competition in Marchat Elizabethtown Technical College.

James Huddleston was awarded First Place in Auto Technology, Dylan Davis took Second Place in Auto Technology Services. Both are Bullitt East High School students.

Alyssa Hensley earned First Place in Printing. She attends North Bullitt High School and the Career Readiness Center.

Jacob Numann of Bullitt Central High School was awarded First Place in Welding.

Here is a profile of each winning student.

Under the direction of teacher Brian Duggan, James and Dylan have sharpened their skills in diagnosing and repairing vehicle problems.

Those talents were tested at competition as they worked at six stations with a 15 minute time limit each.

“It was a challenge,” James said. “On one of the parts identification, there was a part I had never seen before but I was able to figure it out.”

Dylan’s task was to label specific parts and identify any particular defects.

“There is a lot of detail when working on cars, engines, transmissions, brakes, tires, etc.” he said. “The competition required us to fill out a paper and you had to be right on what was wrong or you lost points.”

Dylan received an added bonus of a $3,000 scholarship to Ohio Technical Center which he will add to the $5,000 he earned from a test.

“This will also help admission to the Power Sports Institute because that’s what I want to do,” he said. Dylan is a senior and will channel the ASE earned through technical school and his college degree into a career as a power sports specialist.

“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” he said. “I love to ride and work on four-wheelers and anything that goes fast. Plus, I want to know that if I’m driving down the road and the car stops I can pop the hood, get my tools and fix the problem instead of spending the money of a repairman.”

James is a junior and has one more year of auto mechanics. In addition to returning to Skills USA competition, he plans to take the Ford Triple A Challenge.

“I will probably go to Northwestern Ohio University for a major in high performance auto mechanics and 4-wheel drive service,” he said.

Dylan credited his dad, Marty, while James said his father, Alan, were the reasons they became so interested in auto mechanics.

Alyssa Hensley enjoys learning and working in Don Easley’s graphic technology program. She has acquired a vast amount of knowledge about camera work, desktop publishing and operating a press machine.

“My favorite part is running the press,” she said. “I can multi-task really good and stay focused on several things at once.”

Attention to small details is important or a large job can be produced with errors. There is no re-doing a faulty print job except to start over with fresh paper.

“Sometimes the repetition of a running press messes with your head but you just have to concentrate and make sure the job is being printed correctly,” Alyssa said.

Working with machines is an area she became interested in while watching her grandfather, Edward Roulo, as a diesel mechanic.

“He really knows how to build things and problem solve,” she said.

Another role model instructor is Mr. Easley.

“He teaches me then steps to the side and trusts that I can do the job,” she said. “I really respect that.”

Alyssa will continue to polish her skills in preparation for state competition. Part of that encompasses assisting other students with printing equipment.

“I like it when I can help my classmates,” she smiled. “It gives me more confidence and makes me feel like a leader.”

Alyssa is the daughter of Angela Seppala and wants to pursue a career in either electronics or robotics.

All classes at the BCATC are a combination of book study and hands on learning.

In Scott Metcalf’s welding class, James Numann is finishing his first and only year. He began Bullitt County Public Schools as a child, moved to southern Indiana, and has returned to earn a diploma.

During regional competition, he earned First Place in reading a blueprint and building a metal birdhouse but only after organizers put him in the wrong class category and he completed a two-hour test.

That mistake increased his anxiety level but did not diminish the welding skills he has honed since age six.

“I actually have a lot of fun welding,” said the son of Dawn Miller and John Numann. “I like watching the metal melt (behind the safety of a welder’s helmet) and seeing the puddle of liquid metal. It’s fun to turn this into something useful.”

He likes all kinds of welding from MIG to STIC and feels he is best at TIG.

The most challenging part is holding the metal stick still during welding.

“There are different types of rods and I like using the 7/8th which is the most common.” Jacob said.

The regional competition brought him a $2,500 scholarship to Tulsa where he will attend welding school.

“My goal is to make welding a career and earn a comfortable living,” he said.

Mr. Metcalf praised Jacob saying he was one of his best students.

“Jacob has a lot of talent in welding,” Metcalf said. “He is like an assistant teacher who helps other students. I can definitely see him being a welding instructor one day.”

Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,200 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working to make the district the leader in educational excellence.