Pinkerton students show off their skills
DERRY — The faculty and staff at Pinkerton Academy are proud of their role in helping mold future leaders.
Earlier this summer, the results of the national competition of Skills USA in Kansas City helped highlight just how proud they should be.
With more than 6,000 students taking part in 94 contests that helped measure technical and leadership skills, the seven Pinkerton Academy students stacked up quite well next to students from across the country.
Skills USA is a nonprofit organization of students, teachers, and businesses that helps high school and college students develop the technical and leadership skills they will need to succeed in the modern world, according to Pinkerton Skills USA adviser and computer technology teacher Mike Eno.
"The three big benefits for the students personally are learning the skills, leadership, and giving back to the community," said Eno. Eno said Skills USA also encourages the schools to work on community projects.
When it comes to competing in the skills areas, Eno said Pinkerton Academy offers nearly two dozen technical skills through its Career and Technical Education department.
By competing in state competitions against the most skilled students from other schools, Eno said his students can get a valid idea of how advanced they are in their area of expertise.
Stephanie Crepeau, who will attend the Wentworth Institute of Technology in the fall, took first place in the prepared speech category, topping 41 other students from across the United States.
Shawn Venti finished sixth and received a finalist certificate in telecommunications cabling. Amanda Goff and Kayla Balis finished 11th in esthetics, while Tyler Smith placed 15th in computer applications and was awarded a skillpoint certificate for having computer applications that qualify him for a position in the work force.
Sam Davis was 22nd in Internetworking, and Jim Boulter placed 24th in computer maintenance.
The Skills USA chapter at Pinkerton began about a decade ago, according to Eno, and has grown from 25 to 65 members under the direction of Eno, his wife, Sara, and carpentry teacher David Howes.
Eno took over as the program's adviser last year, and the biggest change he made was giving the students more oversight in the running of the organization.
During the 2012-13 school year, the Pinkerton Academy chapter won more medals than any other school in the New Hampshire state competition, taking home 22 overall, five of which were gold medals.