High school welding, CSI teams fare well at state competition

Recently, Pagosa Springs High School Skills USA students specializing in occupational-related studies when to state competitions and won numerous awards. The competitions were held at the Warren Tech and Red Rocks College in Denver.

The welding team, consisting of Luke Baxstrom, Cheyann Dixon and Joshua Yager, won first place in the welding fabrication event. These students have learned and are able to fabricate, measure, cut and weld various items. They have had experience with TIG, stick and flux core welding techniques. They have also learned to utilize MIG and oxyacetylene methods of welding and cutting.

The CSI team — Robert Trujillo, Randell Ruddock and Charrise Morris — took second place in the forensics division. They were given a mock crime scene and had to go in and evaluate a situation, gather evidence, and view the body. Using standard CSI protocol, they did a preliminary walk-through, drew a diagram, pulled fingerprints and took pictures. From the information gathered, they had to make an assessment, draw conclusions, and review the procedures to complete the various needed reports.

These students participated in the Skills USA class at the high school. Their teacher, Becky Guilliams, coached them and was the adult representative for them at state in addition to Jesse Morehouse, male chaperone.

Two individual competitors were Matt Fisher in architectural drafting, and Daniel Roeder in individual welding competition.

All first-place winners are eligible to continue their respective competitions at the national level. Our students were so enthusiastic about competing at state in their areas of expertise that they took the initiative to raise the needed funds so they could go to Denver to compete at the state level. The students sought sponsorships and our community supported their many efforts. Help and assistance came from the following (some gave in several different forms): Genelle Macht, CenturyTel, 3 Quarter Circle, Walter Body Shop, LPEA, Cindy and Walter Havens, LPEA Round Up Grant, Milt Hull and Terry’s Ace. These generous donations were for $3,256 in expenses, as well as required clothing, toolboxes, travel and registrations.

For information about these high school programs, see the front page of the Focus section in the April 23, 2009, edition of The SUN.

Photo courtesy Richard Wholf
Luke Baxstrom, left, Cheyann Dixon and Joshua Yager represented the Pagosa Springs High School Skills USA program at the recent state competition in Denver, taking first place in the welding fabrications division.