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Welding students receive scholarships to ATI

Winning contestants of SkillsUSA awarded funds totaling $30K for program

By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer

(Feb. 18, 2021) Eleven students in the Worcester Technical High School welding program competed in the 2020 SkillsUSA welding contest on March 5, 2020, at the high school and received a total of $30,000 in scholarships to the Advanced Technology Institute in Virginia Beach.

“We are just really proud of what our students are doing, said welding instructor Rick Stephens. “They see their future developing right in front of them with each welding skill they learn. It is so awesome to see students so excited to be in school learning a trade.”

The winners of Worcester Technical High School’s 2020 Welding Fabrication Contest in Newark on March 5, 2020, each received $3,000 scholarships to the Advanced Technology Institute in Virginia Beach. Pictured, from left, are Trevor Hudson, Zeke Dennis and Hunter Powell, who have graduated from Snow Hill High School.

Hunter Powell, Trevor Hudson and Ezekiel Dennis won first place as a team in the 2020 Welding Fabrication Contest and were each awarded $3,000.

Kevin Rodriguez, Samuel Paulk and Joseph Serpe placed second as a team in the 2020 Welding Fabrication Contest and were each awarded a prize of $2,000.

Rodriguez, a senior at Stephen Decatur High School, said the competition on March 5 was “super fun.”

Devin Pilarski, Daniel Ridenour and Ascher King placed third as a team in the contest and received $1,000 each.

For the 2020 Welding Sculpture Contest, Devin Pilarski was awarded $3,000 for first place, Trent Ortega was awarded $2,000 for second place and Kylie Boston was awarded $1,000 for third place.

Daniel Ridenour placed first in the 2020 Welding Contest for a $3,000 prize, followed by Samuel Paulk in second place for a $2,000 prize. Kevin Rodriguez grabbed third place for a $1,000 award.

Stephen Decatur High School students Joseph Serpe, Kylie Boston, Trent Ortega and Devin Palarski and Snow Hill High School student Ezekiel Dennis have applied to attend the Advanced Technology Institute’s welding program in the fall.

According to the Advanced Technology Institute’s website, the welding program is approximately 18 months, including breaks and holidays.

The second-place team for Worcester Technical High School’s welding competition on March 5, 2020, and instructors from left, are Rick Stephens, welding instructor; Samuel Paulk, a 2020 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School; Tammy Hearne, welding assistant; Kevin Rodriguez and Joseph Serpe, current seniors at Stephen Decatur; and Denise Coston, welding assistant.

The program curriculum requires 1,500 clock hours and 60 credit hours. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an Associate of Occupational

Science in Trades Leadership with Specialization in Maritime Welding Technology.

Stephens added that two more Stephen Decatur High School students, Kevin Rodriguez and Ross Quilter, are attending a welding program at Universal Technical Institute in Houston, Texas.

According to the Universal Technical Institute, the welding technology training program is 36 weeks and involves training of four techniques.

Students will take 12 hands-on welding courses.