Big Wins at Nevada SkillsUSA

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
TMCC SkillsUSA Competitors Image

TMCC students and TMCC dual-enrolled students win 21 medals at Nevada SkillsUSA Leadership & Skills Conference.

Students at Truckee Meadows Community College have been awarded a whopping 21 medals at the 2017 Nevada SkillsUSA Leadership & Skills Conference, which took place April 4–7 at the TMCC William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center, and at Circus Circus Reno Hotel & Casino.

TMCC Culinary Arts students won every medal of the six possible medals in two categories: Culinary Arts and Commercial Baking.

TMCC Technical Science majors won five of the nine possible medals in three categories: Automotive Service Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology and Welding.

ACE Charter High School students who are dual-enrolled for TMCC college credit won 10 of the 12 possible high school state medals in four categories: Precision Machining Technology, Diesel Equipment Technology, Automotive Service Technology, and CNC Turning Technology.

“This competition showed me what I do well in my field of study and what I need to work on,” said Jestin Ogle, Silver finisher in CNC. “It also gave me a taste of what to expect when I enter the work force.”

TMCC student and Diesel Equipment Technology Gold award winner Nicholas Teeters agrees.

“It was a great opportunity to test your skills,” he said. “I highly recommend that even more people participate.”

Medal List

TMCC Culinary Arts students winning awards at SkillsUSA Nevada are:

  • Shannon Sanchez: Culinary Arts, Gold Medal
  • Jonathan Munoz-Valdez: Culinary Arts, Silver Medal
  • Karla Cuadra: Culinary Arts, Bronze Medal
  • Shelby Decker: Commercial Baking, Gold Medal
  • Andrea Wyatt: Commercial Baking, Silver Medal
  • Michelle Yates: Commercial Baking, Bronze Medal

TMCC students winning in Technical Science categories are:

  • Chance Powning: Automotive Service Technology, Gold Medal
  • Stevan Diaz: Automotive Service Technology, Silver Medal
  • Nicholas Teeters: Diesel Equipment Technology, Gold Medal
  • Nathaniel Leslie: Welding, Gold Medal
  • Daniel Olson: Welding, Bronze Medal

“It will really help to have an accomplishment like that on my resume for the future,” said Nathan La Cruze, Silver award winner in Precision Machining Technology. “It feels really good, and I think employers will look at that and give you that leg up ahead of other people.”

ACE Charter High School students who are dual-enrolled at TMCC, and won in the high school Technical Science categories are:

  • Jared Larson: Precision Machining Technology, Gold Medal
  • Nathan La Cruze: Precision Machining Technology, Silver Medal
  • Jack Den Hartog: Precision Machining Technology, Bronze Medal
  • Joseph Stevens: CNC Turning Technology, Gold Medal
  • Jestin Ogle: CNC Turning Technology, Silver Medal
  • Michael Rodriguez: CNC Turning Technology, Bronze Medal
  • Peter Savini: Diesel Equipment Technology, Gold Medal
  • Gatlin Featham: Diesel Equipment Technology, Silver Medal
  • Bryson Vandermyden: Diesel Equipment Technology, Bronze Medal
  • Theodore Bobo: Automotive Service Technology, Silver Medal

About SkillsUSA

The SkillsUSA organization is comprised of students, teachers and industry representatives.

“More than 300,000 students and advisors join SkillsUSA annually, organized into more than 17,000 sections and 54 state and territorial associations,” according to

This national organization is focused on preparing students for careers in technical, service, and skilled occupations, including the health field. Local, state and national competitions are centered on career proficiencies and leadership abilities.

Jack Den Hartog, Bronze awardee in Precision Machining Technology said that there was not a big challenge to overcome in order to place in the competition, just steady, hard work.

“There wasn’t really much to overcome for manual machining—I was just a good student of a good teacher,” he said.

Den Hartog’s instructor is Laure’L Santos.

“I am Jack's instructor and he is a great student,” Santos said. “He’s a student with the Academy for Career Education High School. They are in a dual credit program with TMCC where they earn a 30-credit CNC Operator's Certificate.

For more information about the Culinary Arts Program, please call 775-674-7917. For Technical Sciences such as CNC, Automotive Technology, Precision Machining Technology or Welding, the phone number is 775-856-5300.