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Way To Go!

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Photo Provided by Chris Morse

Skills Advisors Lucas Papineau and Sharon Barnard are thrilled with the KACC Students' success!

KACC Students Capture Top Prizes at State SkillsUSA

Got Skills? The answer is a resounding YES if you are a student at the Kankakee Area Career Center (KACC)!


KACC Firefighter Team:(L to R) Erich Lindemann, Katelyn Lowman, Austyn Bruno, Chris Vahl, Billy Zielinski and Mitch Nettleingham and Nick Brault (not pictured here)

Once again, KACC students made their presence known at the state-wide SkillsUSA Competition in Springfield last weekend and brought home proof of the exceptional curriculum and training they receive at the Career Center. This competition is the scholastic bowl or state finals, if you will, for those students involved in career and technical education.

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Photo provided by Chris Morse

Pre-Engineering State Winners Nick Meyer, Nick Paetsch and Darren Price

According to Director, Don Fay, KACC’s reputation for dominating the state competition is so well known, he’s even seen signs stating “Beat KACC!” when arriving to the competition. Tom Hahs, Principal of KACC said he couldn’t be more proud of his students and faculty who worked hard and ensured KACC’s continued success.

Sharon Barnard, KACC’s Cosmetology Manager and SkillsUSA Coordinator was awarded a Red Jacket (Lifetime Achievement) Award for her many, many years of participation and dedication to SkillsUSA, the students, and quality of competitions; both at the State and National Levels. Ms. Barnard has been intricately involved for over 20 years. She was both shocked and humbled in receiving the award.

A total of 45 of the 58 students who participated in the SkillsUSA competition received a ranking within the top 10 in the State of Illinois. Of those 45, thirteen students came in First Place in the state earning the privilege of an invitation to compete at National SkillsUSA. National SkillsUSA competition will be held the last week of June in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Entrepreneurship 1st Place Finishers Ashley Petro, Taylor Larsen, Adam Jenson, and back row is Brandon Szromba

The SkillsUSA state and national competitions require students to demonstrate both occupational and leadership skills. At the annual national-level championships, over 4,600 students will compete in 84 occupational and leadership skill areas.

KACC’s SkillsUSA coordinators, Sharon Barnard, Cosmetology Instructor, Lucas Papineau, Computer Technology Instructor are delighted to announce the names of those students earning such prestigious honors.

Those earning Gold Medals and an invitation to compete at
National SkillsUSA are:

Jerrica Barber Central High School - Cosmetology
Lindsey Keane Peotone High School - Cosmetology
Laura Gronsky Central High School - Cosmetology
Valerie Conforti Post-Secondary - Cosmetology
Darren Price Iroquois West - Engineering Technology Team
Nick Paetsch Bradley-Bourbonnais - Engineering Technology Team
Nick Meyer Beecher - Engineering Technology Team
Taylor Larson Donovan - Entrepreneurship Team
Brandon Szromba Beecher - Entrepreneurship Team
Ashley Petro Momence - Entrepreneurship Team
Adam Jensen Bradley-Bourbonnais - Entrepreneurship Team
Kathleen Stacy Bradley-Bourbonnais - Nurse Assisting
Melissa Rodriguez Bradley-Bourbonnais - Promotional Bulletin Board

Students who rated in the top 10 within the State of Illinois are:

Josh Greenburg Central High School - Computer Maintenance Tech.
Dan Shinn Bradley-Bourbonnais - Computer Maintenance Tech
Cornell Jones Kankakee - Cosmetology
Alyssa Mericle Herscher High School - Cosmetology
Alaina Ravens Herscher High School - Cosmetology
Desiree Para - Bradley-Bourbonnais - Cosmetology
Megan Hoffner Central High School - Cosmetology
Amanda Ivancicts Bradley-Bourbonnais - Cosmetology
Taylor Johnson Bradley-Bourbonnais - Cosmetology
Tanya Maier Bradley-Bourbonnais - Cosmetology
Jordan Wells Bradley-Bourbonnais - Crime Scene Investigation
Kelly Brown Donovan - Crime Scene Investigation
Amanda LeDoux Central - Crime Scene Investigation
Matt Dasher Kankakee - Criminal Justice
Bennett Foster Bradley-Bourbonnais - Criminal Justice
Colten Boswell Grant Park - Criminal Justice
Mike Lynch Bradley-Bourbonnais - Criminal Justice
Ashley King Watseka - Customer Service
Luke Fahey Bradley-Bourbonnais - Customer Service
Adam Jensen BBCHS - Extemporaneous Speaking
Katherine Hester Kankakee - Extemporaneous Speaking
Luke Fahey Bradley-Bourbonnais - Extemporaneous Speaking
Austyn Bruno Herscher - Firefighters
Billy Zielinski Manteno - Firefighters
Nick Brault Donovan - Firefighters
Cheyanne King Grant Park - Health Knowledge Bowl Team
Amanda Marganski Peotone - Health Knowledge Bowl Team
Kathleen Stacy Bradley-Bourbonnais - Health Knowledge Bowl Team
Scott Seimsen Peotone - Health Knowledge Bowl Team
Ashley King Watseka - Job Interview
Kayla Michel Bradley-Bourbonnais - Nurse Assisting
Victoria Penley Bradley-Bourbonnais - Nurse Assisting
Amanda Marganski Bradley-Bourbonnais - Nurse Assisting
Mariah Kempen Central - Nurse Assisting
Scott Siemsen Peotone - Nurse Assisting
Kyle Szepelak Peotone - Welding

Competition was stiff and grueling. There were close to 1,000 students from throughout Illinois who competed in nineteen events. . Although the following students did not place in the top 10, KACC is proud of the efforts and dedication to their coursework and to their desire to represent KACC in such great fashion. Thanks and congratulations to the following Students: From BBCHS – Cam Smith, Kory Schneider, Jessica Fear, and Andrea Kritselis; From Grant Park, Cheyanne King and Katelyn Lowman; from Herscher, CJ Bridger, Kyle Workman; Manteno Student Chris Vahl; Peotone students Korianne Schultz and Julia Marconi; St. Anne student Curtis Clement, and Watseka Student Mitch Nettleingham.


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Kankakee Area Career Center4083 N 1000 W Road

PO Box 570Bourbonnais, IL 60914

815-939-4971Fax: 815-939-7598

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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