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Science Hill students win state SkillsUSA championship

Contributed To The Press • Apr 20, 2018 at 9:17 AM

Science Hill will send its first group of construction students to the National SkillsUSA Competition in Louisville, Kentucky, after the group of Jacob Walker, Jeffery Bunn, Josh Reynolds and Darwin Alonso brought home a state championship in the Construction Teamworks Competition during the state competition in Chattanooga.

“It was a great experience,” said Walker, who served as team captain and will pursue a two-year degree in the electrical field after he graduates in May. “We had one goal at the beginning of the year and I am glad that we were able to help complete it.”

Science Hill construction teacher Robbie Tester, who teaches construction along with Rich Murray, said it was the first group they had sent to the National competition since he and Murray started at the school almost a decade ago.

“We are extremely proud and they worked really hard,” Tester said. “They’ve put in a lot of their own time practicing after school and during the weekends to prepare for the competition.”

The team split up responsibilities, with Walker working on the electric and framing. Alonso also helped with framing and was responsible for the masonry work, while Bunn focused on plumbing and Reynolds helped with electric.

“We have basically learned how to build a house from the ground up,” Bunn said.

Alonso said it was a unique experience because of the looming deadline pressure of only having two days to complete the project. But he said that didn’t hurt the team and that he was looking forward to traveling to the national competition.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity, not just for us and our construction department, but also for Science Hill because we will get to represent our school,” Alonso said.

Other students who competed in events were Ethan Sluder, who earned a silver in carpentry. Kyndrik Johnson, Jacob Ledford and Joseph Miller had a bronze finish in the Chapter Display, while Jacob Fielden had an impressive showing in the cabinetry competition.

Walker, Bunn, Reynolds and Alonso will participate in the National USASkills Competition June 25-29.

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