Parry Sound High School is sending 13 skilled trades students to compete in the province-wide Skills Ontario championship in Toronto on May 1.
The 13 students earned a place at the provincial championship after taking top spots at the qualifying competition on April 1 held at Canadore College in North Bay. There were 27 other students from various school boards at that event.
Brad Spooner, Ola Tarko, Reese Norrie and Lily Stiles took home medals and qualified for the next round of competition in their respective disciplines of construction, television and video production and culinary arts. These students will be joined by nine other Parry Sound High School (PSHS) students, the Near North District School Board explained.
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Preparing for the event began in September, and those efforts “doubled” in January once details about the competition were released by Skills Ontario, noted PSHS culinary arts teacher Blair Cousins.
“Many students practice several times a week,” Cousins said. “The construction students studied blueprints and developed our own measurements to build a mini woodshed model based on the isometric drawing in the scope.”
Nicky Dusome, a teacher at PSHS, “feels the Skills Ontario competition is important because it allows students to compete in a highly specialized market and gives insight into those markets. It also is a great item to have on college applications,” the board said.
Northern Secondary School, Almaguin Highlands Secondary School and PSHS are all sending students and educators on day trips to the competition. Chippewa Secondary School and F.J. McElligott Secondary School will be sending delegations to the Skills Ontario Young Women’s Conference.
The Skills Ontario competition is “a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their skills, to meet other young people with similar interests, to champion for themselves and be ambassadors of their school and our board,” Ontario Youth apprenticeships Program Coordinator Roy Desjardins said.
“Whether a student wins or not, they deserve to be celebrated.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.