Area students use their hands to compete, learn life lessons

High School students with speaker



 Three men in welding helments
Franklin-Simpson  Students compete in Welding Competition
during SkillsUSA
When Debra Daniel, 17, a junior at South Warren High School, enrolled in construction classes at Warren County Area Technology Center, she was looking to build her résumé and improve her scholarship chances.

 “I didn’t expect to make it a career,” she said.

After attending construction classes for two hours each school day for most of the academic year, she’s now considering pursuing a construction management degree. She came to enjoy the field so much because of the sense of accomplishment that comes from building something herself.

“I like being able to work on something and look at the finished product,” Daniel said.

On Friday, she was among more than 100 high school students from across the region who competed in the SkillsUSA Region 4 Competition at Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College and the Kentucky Transpark. SkillsUSA, a career and technical student organization, offered contests in 52 categories, ranging from technical areas such as carpentry and welding to skills like writing and extemporaneous speaking. Winners in each category will advance to the state competition in April in Louisville.

The motto for this year’s competition is “prepared and skilled to lead America,” said Melissa Jones, SkillsUSA region 4 coordinator.

 Men wireing electrical components
 Area high school electricity student compete

“It gives (students) a chance to show the dynamic skills they’re learning in their programs,” she said. “It gives them the spirit of competition, and it allows them to serve as leaders to their peers as examples.”

John Richardson, 17, a South Warren senior, competed in the automotive category after taking automotive classes at the Warren County ATC this school year.

“I sort of wish I had more years so I could come back, but I’m graduating in May,” he said. “It’s really fun. You get your hands dirty and learn some new stuff.”

Troy Cox, 18, another South Warren senior, competed in tool identification. He said he enjoys learning real-world skills like construction because it’s cool to create something from nothing but a pile of wood.

“I like working with my hands and building stuff,” he said.

Though Tristan White, 17, a senior at Todd County Central High School, competed in tool identification, he prefers machining.

“We can make anything out of metal,” he said.

He takes classes in machining at Russellville Area Technology Center.

“I tried it out, and I really like it,” White said.


Industry leaders listening to instructor 
Area industry leaders listen to SKYCTC instructor Terrel Murphy as he talks about the SkillsUSA competition.


Winner from this year’s District 4 competition were:

Architectural Board Drafting

  • First Place – Dustin Alford– Russellville ATC
  • Second Place – Cory Radcliff – Allen Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Brandon Little – Allen Co. Tech

Architectural CAD

  • First Place – Clifton Hurley – Barren Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Zoe Brownfield – Barren Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Devin Walters – Allen Co. Tech

Automated Manufacturing

  • First Place – Team of Tyler Jones, Joseph Neville, Jake Beaks – Barren Co. ATC

Automotive Service Tech

  • First Place – Dylan Pennington – Allen Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Danny Richmond – Butler Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Daniel Keith – Russellville ATC

Automotive 1

  • First Place – Trey Colburn – Butler Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Austin Varner – Allen Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Ty Lawrence – Butler Co. Tech

Cabinet Making

  • First Place – Colton Thruman – Monroe Co. ATC


  • First Place – Carleton Huff – Monroe Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Clay Murphy – Warren Co. ATC
  • Third Place – Josh Flener – Butler Co. ATC

Carpentry 1

  • First Place – Andrew Krohn – Warren Co. ATC

Chapter Display

  • First Place – Team of Olivia Obermeyer & Daniellle Caldwell – Allen Co. ATC


CNC Milling

  • First Place – Seth Chapman – Barren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – John Wooten – Barren Co. ATC

Computer Maintenance Technician

  • First Place – Trevor Brown – Russellville ATC
  • Second Place – Ryan Gains – Barren Co. ATC
  • Third Place – Omar Moncayo – Warren Co. ATC

Construction Tool Identification

  • First Place – Deb Daniels – Warren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Troy Cox – Warren Co. ATC
  • Third Place – Tristan White – Russellville ATC


  • First Place – Caleb Vernon – Allen Co. Tech

Customer Service

  • First Place – Jessie Burnley – Allen Co. Tech

Electrical Construction Wiring

  • First Place – Weston Riggs – Barren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Caleb Hunt – Butler ATC
  • Third Place – Andrew Gaddie – Barren Co. ATC

Extemporaneous Speaking

  • First Place – Van Daugherty – Butler Co. ATC

Extemporaneous Writing

  • First Place – Dakota Funnell – Allen Co. Tech


  • First Place – Luke Houchens – Barren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Travis Pennington – Barren Co. ATC
  • Third Place - Zach Felty – Butler Co. ATC

Job Interview

  • First Place - Ethan Calvert – Allen Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Zikila Borders – Monroe Co. Tech
  • Third Place - Logan Graves – Allen Co. Tech

Jobs Skills Demonstrations

  • First Place – Noah Bryant – Butler Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Zach Felty – Butler Co. ATC
  • Third Place – Aaron Jared – Butler Co. ATC

Jobs Skills Open

  • First Place – Hannah Obermeyer – Allen Co. Tech


  • First Place – Marcus Bugunovich – Franklin-Simpson ATC
  • Second Place - Logan Watkins – Franklin-Simpson ATC

Masonry 2

  • First Place – Matt Lile – Franklin-Simpson ATC

Motor Control

  • First Place – Tyler Hopkins – Russellville ATC
  • Second Place – Kyle Basham – Barren Co. ATC
  • Third Place – Chris Justice – Barren Co. ATC

Opening and Closing

  • First Place – Team of: Jackie Johnson, Katlyn Sells, Madison Anderson, Shelby Bell, Trevor Brown, Tyler Hopkins, and Chris Webster – Russellville ATC

Patriotic Salute to America

  • First Place – Kayla Hunt – Russellville ATC


  • First Place – Ralston Shipley – Allen Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Alan Hogue – Allen Co. Tech

Precision Machining

  • First Place – Zackary Elamon – Russellville ATC
  • Second Place – Jeremy Richmond– Russellville ATC

Prepared Speech

  • First Place – Zeb Pendley – Butler Co. Tech

Promotional Bulletin Board

  • First Place – Team of Tiffany Short and Rachel Lundy – Monroe Co. ATC

Related Technical Math

  • First Place – Andrew Payne – Warren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Jordan Jones – Monroe Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Cory Radcliff – Allen Co. ATC


  • First Place – Jessica Anderson – Russellville ATC

T-Shirt Design

  • First Place – Chad Cardwell – Butler Co. Tech

Talent Single

  • First Place – Katlyn Woodmansee – Allen Co. Tech

Technical Board Drafting

  • First Place – Lucas Harrison – Allen Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Ralston Shipley – Allen Co. Tech

Technical CAD

  • First Place – Braden Pedigo – Barren Co. Tech
  • Second Place – Caleb Vernon – Allen Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Alan Houge – Allen Co. Tech

Welding 1

  • First Place – Zachary Stradtne – Franklin-Simpson Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Michael Hankins – Warren Co. ATC
  • Third Place – Timothy Bell – Allen Co. ATC

Welding 2

  • First Place – Aaron Witty – Barren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – John Dubree – Monroe Co. Tech
  • Third Place – Peyton Bratcher- Butler Co. ATC

Welding Fabrication

  • First Place – Team of Wes Price, Christian Chander, Tristian Miller – Warren Co. ATC
  • Second Place – Team of Gregory Irvin, Katlyn Stamps, Preston Burchett – Russellville ATC
  • Third Place – Team of Walker Weathers, Dakota Givens, Paul Staples – Butler Co. ATC

Welding Sculpture

  • First Place – Greg Irving – Russellville ATC
  • Second Place – Elijah Sharp – Barren Co. ATC
  • Third Place – AJ Spencer – Warren Co. ATC