Cuesta College continues to show that its Career Technical Education (CTE) students and faculty are some of the best in the state.

Eleven of Cuesta College’s CTE students medaled at the SkillsUSA California 47th Annual State Leadership and Skill Conference. The students medaled in nine categories and nabbed nine gold medals, two silver, and one bronze. The nine gold medalists are now qualified to advance to the 50th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, June 23-27, 2014.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives, working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Cuesta College sent a total of 16 students to the state championships, which took place April 24-27 in San Diego. This was the most students the school has ever sent to the state competition since it began participating in 2006.

“Our CTE instruction here at Cuesta College is top shelf and these results validate that,” said John Stokes, Cuesta’s engineering and technology division chair, who oversees the college’s SkillsUSA team.

The award results are:

  • Gold medal: Digital Cinema Production - team of Loren Acosta & Michael Silva
  • Gold medal: Auto Collision Refinishing - Austin Feavel
  • Gold medal: Technical Drafting - Simon Rowe
  • Gold medal: Welding Fabrication - team of Ryan May, Tyler Grossi, & Patrick Hickey
  • Gold medal: Prepared Speech - Grace Stokes
  • Gold medal: Commercial Baking - Grace Stokes
  • Silver medal: Culinary Arts - Noah Yoshida
  • Silver medal: Electrical Construction Wiring - Armando Minctar
  • Bronze medal: Commercial Baking - Marina Perry

Also competing were Matt Matson in Automotive Service Technology, Victoria Wilson in Restaurant Service, and Bradley Stanton and Joey Grant in Welding.

In 2013, Cuesta College sent five students to the national championship and all five earned medals. Three of those five medal-winners returned to the state championship this year and they medaled once again: Simon Rowe, Ryan May and Patrick Hickey. Rowe is now a four-time state gold medalist in three different categories.

The next WorldSkills International competition, which will feature more than 60 countries, is set to take place in Brazil, August 11-16, 2015. For the second time, Cuesta College will be sending one of its students to compete; Michael Mullen, who will go for the gold in auto service technology. Mullen recently returned from the WorldSkills Americas competition in Bogota, Colombia, where he took home second place. Mullen also serves as California’s Post-Secondary President of the organization. In 2011, Cuesta student Daniel Lehmkuhl competed in automobile technology at WorldSkills International in London.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / / Posted: 4/30/14