FONTANA, CA – Fontana Unified students went head-to-head with the best talent in California and walked away with numerous accolades, including two gold medals, during the 56th annual SkillsUSA Leadership and Skill Conference, held April 13-16 at the Ontario Convention Center.
Summit High School senior Wei Zeng will advance to the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference after his pin design celebrating California – a collage featuring a brown bear, a California poppy and the Golden Gate Bridge – earned him a gold medal.
“Going to state was fun and I gained a lot more confidence while building my public speaking and time management skills,” Zeng said. “I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator in my multimedia design class and that provided me with the opportunity to compete at SkillsUSA. I am excited for the chance to represent Summit High in Atlanta.”
Fontana High School senior Iliana Campos also received a gold medal in introductory welding for her expertise in gas tungsten arc welding. FOHI seniors Juan Ramirez and Jesus Rodriguez won silver and bronze medals, respectively, giving the school a clean sweep in the welding contest.
“Winning the gold medal was a surreal experience that I will never forget,” Campos said. “It gives me hope that I might be able to inspire and encourage other girls in our welding class to do the same. I can end my final year of high school while motivating younger students. Thank you to Mr. Moreno and my peers for encouraging me and providing an environment of learning.”
Summit High School won five medals in total, including silver medals in TV Production for senior Aaron Santos and sophomores Paula Enriquez and Mariah Sandoval, and bronze medals in Robotics & Automation for seniors Orlando Serrato and Derek Gutierrez.
“Going into SkillsUSA I didn’t have many expectations, but the people I went with and met really made it worthwhile,” Santos said. “This may have been my last SkillsUSA competition, but cheers to the next generation. The torch has been passed.”
Summit’s TV Production team has won their regional competitions three of the last four years, and been state finalists for the last two years. Summit High TV Production teacher Artie Casas envisions more medals in the future.
“One day this program will compete at the nationals thanks to the blueprint that Aaron has laid out for us,” Casas said. “Every year we get a little better and it’s only a matter of time before my students get to showcase their skills at the next level.”
Summit High sent 54 students to the state competition, after winning 36 medals at the Region 6 SkillsUSA competition, which included students from San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Inyo and Imperial counties.
“I am proud of all the CTE students who competed at SkillsUSA,” CTE Department Chair Valerie McClellan said. “In order to participate, students spent many hours outside of school prepping for competitions. Their leadership and professionalism shined and it was a great opportunity for our students to apply their knowledge to specific industry sectors and work with industry professionals.”
FUSD_SKILLSUSA1: Summit High School senior Wei Zeng earned a gold medal for his pin design depicting celebrating California at the 56th annual SkillsUSA Leadership and Skill Conference held April 13-16 at the Ontario Convention Center. Zeng now advances to the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference, to be held in Atlanta in June.
FUSD_SKILLSUSA2: Fontana High School senior Iliana Campos won a gold medal in introductory welding during the 56th annual SkillsUSA Leadership and Skill Conference held April 13-16 at the Ontario Convention Center. Joining her in the winners circle were her classmates Juan Ramirez and Jesus Rodriguez, who won silver and bronze medals, respectively. Pictured from left to right are FoHi welding instructor Robert Moreno, Daniel Delgado, Ramirez, Campos, Rodriguez, German Lopez and Adrian Guzman.