July 2, 2014


GTCC students Sara Apple, Dee Locklear and Zachary Luckett won a bronze medal in crime scene investigation at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo.

JAMESTOWN, N.C. - Guilford Technical Community College claimed two national medals last week at the 50th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

Erskin Tillery of Greensboro (pictured below) won a silver medal in Telecommunications Cabling. Tillery received a bronze medal in the same category at last year's national competition.


"I expected Erskin to be a strong competitor this year," said Chad Phillips, interim department chair of Electronics Engineering Technology and Telecommunications and Network Engineering Technology Telecommunications Technology at GTCC, and Tillery's SkillsUSA advisor. "He has worked very hard to identify and fill in gaps in his knowledge and skills. This year, he has become more independent and self-driven."

Sara Apple, Dee Locklear (both of Greensboro) and Zachary Luckett of Summerfield won a bronze medal in Crime Scene Investigation, a team event.

"This was a very good year for GTCC," said Jeff Faircloth, SkillsUSA chapter advisor and department chair of Automotive Systems Technology at GTCC. "GTCC students represented N.C. very well."

Seventeen GTCC students and 11 faculty advisors attended the contest June 23-27 in Kansas City, Mo. and competed in 14 different contests including dental assisting, CNC milling, aviation maintenance technology and collision repair technology. In addition to the medal winners, the following six GTCC students finished in the top 10 in the nation:

•    Carly Bell of Greensboro, Advertising Design, fifth

•    Kent Jerrett of Greensboro, CNC Milling, eighth

•    Tanya Malinovsky of Walkertown, Criminal Justice, fifth

•    Sarah Mayer of Jamestown, Restaurant Service, fifth

•    Jessica Clifton of Eden, Dental Assisting, fifth

•    Amanda Heaston of High Point, Health Occupations Professional  Portfolio, fourth.

This is the fourth consecutive year GTCC has competed in the national criminal justice and crime scene investigation contests, and the third consecutive year the students brought home a medal, says Eric Holloman, SkillsUSA faculty advisor and department chair of Criminal Justice at GTCC.

"We believed wholeheartedly that they would medal," Holloman said of GTCC's CSI team. "They were that good."


The key to earning a medal, he says, is committing the time. About nine months out of the year, Holloman and fellow faculty advisors Susan Powell and Andy Russell, along with other criminal justice team members, spend an average of two to three hours a week preparing students for the state and national SkillsUSA competitions. The majority of the training involves more in-depth curriculum outside of the students' traditional coursework.

"It's a lot of commitment, and it's a lot of learning," Holloman said. "But we do it because we want to help the students succeed."

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations.
Through its local, state and national competitions, students demonstrate occupational and leadership skills.

At this year's national competition, more than 5,800 career and technical education students - all state winners - from across the United States competed in more than 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields, occupying space equivalent to more than 16 football fields.

Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from four major campuses and three specialized centers. Learn more at


- Carla Kucinski/GTCC