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CVCC Students Bring Home Gold, Silver, and Bronze at National SkillsUSA

Catawba Valley Community College’s SkillsUSA chapter was named number one among 16,000 in the nation when they won the 2018 Model of Excellence Award at the national conference held recently in Louisville, KY.


2018 SkillksUSA National Competitors

When he became president of Catawba Valley Community College (Hickory, NC), Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw set a goal to become the “Best Community College in the America.” A group of students, faculty, and staff recently brought home a trophy attesting to that coveted status as they returned from the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

CVCC’s chapter was named number one among 16,000 in the nation when they won the 2018 Model of Excellence Award at the national conference held recently in Louisville, KY.

Chad Ledford and Tyler Brown served as student representatives in the competition that began at the state level last spring where they were named to the top 24 in the nation. The team competed in rigorous personal interviews, and chapter activities were scrutinized carefully by a panel of judges.

SkillsUSA’s National Conference is the world’s largest showcase of skilled trades. Students at the high school and college level demonstrate technical, workplace, and personal skills through 102 hands-on occupational and leadership competitions.

The Model of Excellence Awards was one of 10 gold medals won by the college. Students also earned one second place win, one third place, one fourth place, and one seventh place, winning more medals than any college in the nation.

Nicholas “Nick” Joyner successfully campaigned for and was elected a SkillsUSA College National Officer, the first CVCC student to do so.

CVCC Medalists Include:

CVCC Medalists
Place Competition Student Competitors Advisors
1st Advertising Design Carlee Wiswall Jennifer Cobb
1st Crime Scene Investigation Savannah Brown, Corrine Mudd, Summer Walsh Sherry Herman
1st Customer Service Sam Frye Thomas Peeler, Gary Muller
1st Engineering Tech Design Jason Rhoney, Sidney Richardson, Brennan Wickham Jim Thomas
1st Entrepreneurship-College Sierra Abee, Markie Harris, Melissa Mooney, Brenna Wickham Jeff Neuville, Jennifer Cobb, Gary Muller
1st Entrepreneurship-High School Cedric Clyburn, Chanler Watts, Wyatt Rudisill Jeff Neuville, Gary Muller
1st Model of Excellence Chad Ledford, Tyler Brown Tammy Muller
1st Outstanding Chapter Jacob Carr, Emily  Moore, Ansley Gorski Tammy Muller
1st Pin Design Sena Lor Jennifer Cobb
1st Quiz Bowl Holly Cable, Cole Denney, Cecil Hash, Andrew Igdal, Sakhaim Thongsy, Cristal Xiong Robin Ross
2nd Community Service Sarah  Moses, Valerie Stiltner, Mouda Xiong Tammy Muller
3rd Screen Printing  Cynthia Lainez Aaron Tallman
4th Digital Cinema  Connor Hooks, Mason Rader Aaron Tallman
7th Job Interviewing  Whit Preston Michael Boone, Gary Muller


Other students who earned excellent national rankings include Lewis Whaley, Automotive Service (Eddie Roane- Advisor); Shelby Sipe and Chris Torres- Rodrigeuz, Crime Scene Investigation (Seth Bailey-Advisor); Cheyenne Chumley, Photography (Joe Young-Advisor); Alfonso Galen-Rodriguez, T-Shirt Design (Natasha Stiles-Advisor); and Sam Herman, Welding (Trent Morrison and Mark Sigmon-Advisors).

Through the generous support of Chick-Fil-A South Hickory, Duke Energy, and the Haas Foundation through the CVCC Foundation, as well as CVCC’s Board of Trustees, CVCC students received the opportunity to participate in this valuable career preparation experience.

For more information about SkillsUSA activities on the CVCC campus, contact Gary Muller, (828) 327-7000, ext. 4672,

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