June 28, 2022

Representing East Central Community College at the 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference were (front row, from left) Kelsey Pegram of Union, Tayler Cochran of Decatur, and Brianna Young of Louisville; (second row, from left) Sanaa Merrell of Philadelphia, Makayla Wash of Newton, Asten Russell of Little Rock, Kaitlyn Irwin of Decatur, Kaydn Townsend of Meridian, Hannah Myers of Carthage, Kayleigh Long of Philadelphia, Hayley Loper of Decatur, and William Tarlton of Preston; and (back row, from left) Ethan Smith of Decatur, Colton Trapp of Philadelphia, and Cameron Jenkins of Choctaw.

East Central Community College students returned home from SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference with several top finishes, including second place nationally in Opening and Closing Ceremony.

The event was held June 20-24 at the Georgia World Conference Center and State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga. More than 12,000 students, teachers, and education leaders were in attendance.

ECCC’s Opening and Closing Ceremony team of Tayler Cochran of Decatur, Kayleigh Long of Philadelphia, Kelsey Pegram of Union, Asten Russell of Little Rock, Kadyn Townsend of Meridian, William Tarlton of Preston, and Brianna Young of Louisville captured second place.

Finishing fourth nationally in Promotional Bulletin Board were Kaitlyn Irwin of Decatur, Hayley Loper of Decatur, and Sanaa Merrell of Philadelphia.

Makayla Wash of Newton finished seventh in the Job Skills Demonstration Open category.

Also competing and placing were Colton Trapp of Philadelphia, 10th place in Cabinetmaking; Cameron Jenkins of Choctaw, 15th place in Architectural Drafting; and Ethan Smith of Decatur, 22nd place in Automotive Refinishing.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. A nonprofit national education association, SkillsUSA serves middle school, high school, and college/postsecondary students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations.