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Technical students earn top honors in regionals competition

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 From health sciences to welding, several Bullitt County Area Technical Center students were honored for their skills at regional competition in Harrodsburg.

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Rachel Hudson won the individual competition in virtual welding with a 98% on the test and a new $250 welding hood for her accomplishment.

David Sharer and J. T. Bagby placed in the Top 25 in regionals. The categories included mathematics and real welding.

In health sciences, four students took honors in team event competitions.

Shauntel Snellen and Briana Hester took second place in CPR and First Aid. Each earned a ribbon, certificate of recognition and a $250 scholarship to the college of their choice.

Kristy Newman and Brittany King captured third place in CPR/First Aid and earned a ribbon, certificate of recognition and a $100 scholarship. Brittany also placed third in the individual event Concepts of Health and collected another certificate, ribbon and $100 scholarship.

For Rachel, the 18 -year-old daughter of Deanna Greenwell and Steve Hudson, the most challenging aspect of virtual welding was staying focused.

“It’s not easy when people are watching you,” said the Bullitt Central High School student. “I just took my time and kept the same pace.”

Although teacher Scott Metcalf briefed students about virtual welding, Rachel had a strategy to perform her best.

“You have to concentrate on the job,” she said. “Mr. Metcalf does a good job teaching us what to look for. I couldn’t have done well in the competition without his teaching.”

She has the opportunity to compete at the national level this summer in Kansas City, Mo.

“I really like the hands on work,” Rachel said. She wants to do automotive and motorcycle work as a career.

David Sharer has been around welding since he was a kid. His dad, David, is a professional welder and has been passing along tricks of the trade.

“At Harrodsburg Invitational, we had to do stick welding, metal inert gas (MIG) welding and gas tungsten arc welding,” he said.

The 18 year-old son of Teffanie and David Johns and David Sharer said the event was not nerve-wracking but you always had to be on your toes.

Said J. T. Bagby, “They checked carefully to see if you knew what you were doing. Mr. Metcalf told to remember beads, beads, beads and to stay focused on your welding line.”

The son of Diane and James Bagby said he enjoys the hands on approach and the accomplishment of a finished job.

“It feels really good when everything goes right,” he said.

Welding instructor Scott Metcalfe expressed pride for his students’ achievement.

“I’m really proud of all my students but these three are doing exceptional work,” he said. “We are now preparing for the state Skills USA competition and I am confident they will be in the top three in the state in each of their competitions. All three have worked real hard and will go far in this profession if they keep this concentration on their goals.”

Health science students are also pleased (and relieved) that regional competition is complete.

“I felt pretty good on the written test,” said Briana, the 17 year-old daughter of Christine and Brian Hester.

Thanks to health sciences teacher Carrie Smith, Briana said she and teammate Shauntel Snellen, were prepared for the challenge.

Their task was four fold...apply CPR to an adult victim; assist a choking infant; provide recue breathing on an adult; and treat an infant’s burned foot.

“Ms. Smith taught us how to respond to each situation,” Briana said.

Shauntel added some of the teams were literally thrown together when students were unable to participate.

“They got sick,” she said.

A North Bullitt High School student, Briana said she enjoyed working with Shauntel of Bullitt Central.

“We make a good team,” she said.

Shauntel, the 18-year-old daughter of Dolly Smith and Michael Snellen, admitted to a bout of nerves during the competition.

“I felt like I just went in there and did it,” she smiled.

When she and her partner snagged second place, it was time to celebrate.

“I felt great but I was shocked,” she said.

Kristy is the 17-year-old daughter of Kristy and Scott Risen. She attends Bullitt East High School and was paired with Brittany King of Spencer County High School.

After all the work and everyone was waiting for the results, she recalled standing there for a minute and then...

“They called our name and we couldn’t believe it...it all seemed to happen at once,” she said.

During the competition, Kristy and Brittany were performing at a skill level to win.

Then again, so was everyone else, she thought.

She said the technical center’s outstanding health services program allows students to maximize their skill level.

“Every student that has an interest in health should take advantage of this program,” she said.

Although it sounds like a cliché, Brittany added that if you put your mind to it, you can overcome anything.

Shauntel agreed, “If you work hard enough and stay focused, you can accomplish your goal.”

All three students have health careers in mind after college.

Kristy is interested in being a nurse practitioner and working with either pediatrics or geriatrics.

“I am looking at both the beginning and the end of the life cycle,” she said.

Shauntel desires to be a registered nurse either in neonatal or in taking care of children.

“I love kids,” she said.

Briana is interested in either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or an RN. She may consider work in neo natal care.

Her younger brother, Ethan, has encouraged her career.

“I got a stethoscope and a blood pressure check kit for Christmas and Ethan said, ‘Use it on me,’” she smiled.

Health sciences instructor Carrie Smith praised her students for their work.

“I am extremely proud of these four students and their accomplishments,” she said. “They worked really hard to master their events for the regional competition. As the health science instructor I gave the students the skills and knowledge needed, but they are the ones who took that knowledge to the next level. Now these four students, along with six others, will be competing at the state level for a chance to win scholarships in each event they are competing. No matter what health care career path these students choose to follow, I am confident they will excel.”

The Bullitt County Area Technology Center offers classes in graphic printing, carpentry, automotive, health sciences and welding for students in grades 10-12 from Bullitt Central, Bullitt East, North Bullitt and Spencer County High Schools.