Mon BOE recognizes MTEC students

MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Board of Education got technical Monday night.

Rather, board members spent a sizable portion of the meeting honoring those who are excelling at the Monongalia County Technical Education Center (MTEC).

From its facilities on Mississippi Street, MTEC offers a full hands-on curriculum that takes in the basics of baking a cherry pie to operating a plasma cutter.

And “excelling” was the watch-word of the evening, as that’s just what a sizable group of MTEC’s students did during West Virginia’s recent “Skills-USA” competition for those studying technical education — both in high school and beyond.

Students earned gold, silver and bronze medals in the state competition, and the gold winners will now compete in the national competition next month, in Louisville, Ky.

Taking the gold in the forensic crime scene competition were Eliana Kirkendall, Sara Hamm and Jason Wolfe.

Camden Varner, Hunter Martin, Devyn Harris, Hailey Goodwin and Kyle Burns were awarded gold medals in the carpentry, screen-printing and promotional bulletin board events, respectively.

Kory Stephens won gold in the culinary event, as did Miracle Johnson, in the job skills demonstration portion of the proceedings.

Trent Stewart and Rylee Bellman both won gold for their interactive game design, and Bryce Jecklyn took the gold in a math competition — after he informed judges an answer sheet was inadvertently handed out with the test.

Michael Dewitt won a silver medal for T-shirt design, and Jonah Hanlon and Ashley Pursel each took home silver medals in their respective welding events.

Timothy Staffs was also awarded a silver medal in the heating, cooling and air-condition portion of the competition.

MTEC students also won bronze medals in residential wiring, job skills demonstration, teamwork and dental assisting.

They are: Melissa Davis, Cody Wilson, Thunder Smith, Nathan Newbraugh, Daniel Gidley, Gage Cupp and Kayley Cosner.

Barbara Parsons, the board president, was amazed how Pursel’s project came together.

She combined her artistic abilities with her welding prowess to create a large-scale replica of a military ship.

“And you were creative with welding?” Parsons asked, smiling.

“Even with welding,” the student replied, with a smile of her own.

MTEC’s students made their collective just as permanent as one of Pursel’s welds, said Don Robinette, a teacher and administrator there.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a better group of students,” he said.

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