Four Southeastern students, including Peter Huckins of Norton, will be advancing to the SkillsUSA National Championship competition in Kansas City this June, after receiving gold medals at the state competition on April 27.
SkillsUSA is nonprofit organization that prepares high school and college students for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. It holds district, state and national competitions each year, which allows students to showcase their technical skills and leadership abilities.
The gold medals were part of an overall excellent performance by Southeastern, which resulted in 15 medals. Overall, 47 Southeastern students participated in the state conference this year, competing against approximately 2,000 other students.
Besides gold, three students received silver medals in Robotics, and eight students received bronze medals, including a team of seven students that took part in Opening and Closing Ceremonies (OCC). Other distinctions include seven students receiving 2nd Place ribbons in the Techspo Event and one student receiving the Gold Standard Costello Community Service Award.
A senior at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, Huckins won a gold medal in Automotive Services at the SkillsUSA Skills and Leadership State Conference in Marlboro.
Huckins now advances to a week-long national competition in Kansas City, on June 23 through 27. He will be accompanying three other students from Southeastern who also won gold medals: Chris Glover, Michael Gallagher and Bridgette Hayward, all from Brockton.
Huckins’ win not only produced a gold medal, but it also led to an important donation to his school. Southeastern’s Automotive Department will be receiving a “clip car,” which is a half-car training module for students to work on from Universal Technical Institute in Norwood.
“It’s great -- this was completely unexpected,” said his instructor, Robert Vinkus.
The high school senior said he felt well prepared for the state competition, having won a silver medal last year. This year, he competed against nine other high school students in a series of work station tasks including electrical diagnostics, auto part components’ measurements, safety data, alignments, computer programs and a mock interview.
“It was really exciting and it really helped to have the opportunity to go to the competition last year,” he said.
Huckins also received a second place ribbon for the Techspo event and placed second in a state competition for the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association in December. He will be competing in the Ford/ AAA Student Auto Skills competition on May 9, in which he’ll be debugging a car.
Other Norton residents placed at the competition as well. Juniors Ian Burrill and Thomas Cunningham received silver medals in robotics. Burrill is an electronics engineering major. Thomas Cunnin will major in civil and architectural engineering. Nick Jordan, a senior, received a bronze medal in criminal justice. He is majoring in legal/protective services. Nicholas York, a junior, received a second place ribbon for the Techspo event. York is a legal/protective services major.
Currently enrolled in Southeastern’s coop program, Huckins also works for Route 1 Automotive, in Plainville, Massachusetts. He plans to attend Kettering University in Flint, Michigan next year, with a goal to become a mechanical engineer for an automobile manufacturer.
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