Students show talents in competition

Students showcase their abilities in local competition in hopes of moving on to the next level. This event is sponsored by Southwestern Community College.
Skills Day, a regional competition held at Southwestern Oregon Community College, took place April 2 throughout the morning. The day featured students from all schools in Coos County, in different categories of academics and art, such as welding, art, technology, industrial arts, journalism and math.  After each skill is tested, the top two competitors move on and go to the state-wide Skills Day to compete for the top places in the state.

According to math teacher Tim Wall, Skills Day provides students with an opportunity to challenge themselves and get familiar with the college environment.

“It’s an opportunity for some of the advanced kids to get recognized and compete,” Wall said.

Winners receive recognition and the chance to earn free college tuition for classes in their area of achievement.

In the math division, Wall took two of his top students from every math level. Eighth graders Meg Holt and Mark Larson competed in the pre-algebra division; whereas fellow eighth graders Matthew Golder and Alexander Kliewer competed for Algebra I. Sophomores Dianna Chavez and Katherine Paquette were in the Algebra II division. Competing for pre-calculus were seniors Wan Yu Liao and Natalino Lovecchio. Seniors Crew Berggren and Lanli Yu competed in the calculus division. Liao took first place and qualified for state at the University of Oregon.

“It’s a fun break from the normal school day, but it’s still academic and focused on math,” Wall said.

The competition takes place every spring and tests all categories during the day. The event has a history of having a good turnout, with about 200 students participating every year, according to Wall.

Math teacher Tammie Montiel has attended the event with her students in past years.

“We’ve been participating in it since I’ve been here,” Montiel said.

According to Wall, he has been taking students for at least 25 years.

This year, sophomore Amy Norton entered the sculpting competition, and she is currently awaiting her results. Norton said it is a fun and interesting trip.

“I didn’t do sculpting last year, and I was kind of excited to try it out,” Norton said.

Norton also participated in Skills Day last year and was successful in her art competition.

“Last year it was really fun. I won second place,” Norton said. “I like how everyone was open and didn’t judge you.”

According to Wall, Skills Day is a really good experience for everyone who attends.

“It’s a real positive day,” Wall said. “The people that go have fun.”