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Gwinnett Tech Students Shine at SkillsUSA State Competition

State winners headed to national event

Lawrenceville –Gwinnett Tech students had a strong showing at the state SkillsUSA competition, with 13 placing in the competition and five earning gold medals to advance to the national competition later this summer.

GTC students (left to right) Raj Patel, Computer Maintenance, Silver Medal;  James Stephens, Computer Programming, Gold Medal; and Aaron Beraki, Computer Programming, Silver Medal

The National SkillsUSA Championships showcase the skills of post-secondary students through hands-on competitions in leadership, health occupations, trades/industry and technical contests.  

Gwinnett Tech had 17 students participating at the state post-secondary level, and 13 of them placed in the competition. They include the following:

Gold Winners:

  • William “Scott” Hillyer – Residential Carpentry
  • James Stephens – Computer Programming
  • Christina Bryant – Restaurant Service
  • Julian Roberts – Commercial Baking
  • Eljesa Haxhiu – Culinary Arts  

Silver Winners:

  • Philip “Tony” Elsey – Cabinetry
  • Aaron Beraki — Computer Programming
  • Raj Patel — Computer Maintenance
  • Steven Acevedo – Welding Fabrication
  • Justin Bebee – Welding Fabrication
  • Charles Grebe – Welding Fabrication  

Bronze Winners:

  • Jennifer Montiel – Restaurant Service
  • Dominque Butler – Commercial Baking  

Honorable Mention:

  • Ali Reyes – Culinary Arts
  • Aidan Hegarty – Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Thomas Atkinson – HVAC
  • Marvin Medley – Welding

Participating faculty members included Garey Bish, Welding; Dennis Bowers, Residential Construction; Chef Kerri Crean, Culinary Arts; Charles Hardnett, Computer Programming; Alex Elman, HVAC; and Dr. Penny Waddell, Speech.

SkillsUSA contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. The nonprofit organization serves teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to develop a strong workforce for America.  

Gwinnett Tech offers more than 50 degree, diploma and certificate options that can be completed in two years or less. For more information, visit or call 770-962-7580.

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