JCJC SkillsUSA student & instructor win first place in national competition

Written By: Kelly Atwood
Email Address: kelly.atwood@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2015-08-24 15:20:33

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College Cosmetology student Megan Pruett of Hattiesburg brought home the Gold Medal for First Place in Esthetics at this year’s national SkillsUSA Championships, held in June in Kentucky. Cosmetology instructor Tonya Moreno was presented the Gold Medal in Esthetics for an instructor. 

“We are very proud of Megan and Mrs. Moreno,” said Jason Dedwylder, JCJC’s dean of career and technical education. “This award is a culmination of a year's worth of preparation and hard work. Mrs. Moreno is a true champion of her students and is an expert in her field. We are proud to have her leading our program and preparing students for their career.”

SkillsUSA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical and health occupations education. A total of 27 Jones students competed in state competition in the spring with 10 winning first place. Those 10 moved on to the national competition where they were pitted against more than 6,000 students in Louisville, Kentucky.

In addition to Pruett winning first place with her work with model Lakken Walters of Laurel, she received her workplace ready certificate based on her written test scores. Pruett said the competition week was long, and she did her best, hoping just to place.

“When they were calling out the winners at the Awards Ceremony they started with bronze (3rd place) and worked up to Gold,” she explained. “By the time they announced the winner of Silver, I hung my head and closed my eyes and thought ‘darn it, I didn't place’ but I was proud of my work and my efforts. Then, all of a sudden, the entire JCJC crowd is screaming and clapping and my model, Lakken Walters, grabbed me and yelled ‘Megan...You just won!’ I was in shock, completely stunned. It was a very proud moment in my life, to experience the culmination of all our hard work and receive National recognition for it.”

Also bringing home accolades was the drafting team, who placed fifth with a Promotional Bulletin Board and presentation. These students include Lacey McLain of Laurel, Katelynn Brock of Petal and Lexie King of Laurel. All three received their workplace ready certificate based on their written test, and McLain and King each received a $1000 scholarship.

Other JCJC students who placed at nationals include technical drafter Andrew Murry of Beaumont, who placed tenth; the welding fabrication team from the Greene County Center, Jacob McLeod of Lucedale, Russell Green of Leakesville and Arial Johnson of State Line, placed 16th; and welding competitor Garth Breland of Beaumont placed 26th. 


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