SMSD Students Earn Top SkillsUSA Awards

SMSD Students Earn Top SkillsUSA Awards
Shawnee Mission School District

A group of Shawnee Mission high school students earned top honors in a statewide skills competition.

At the spring SkillsUSA Kansas State Championships, Shawnee Mission competitors earned recognition in culinary arts and industrial technology.

Honors in Culinary Arts and Baking include:

Norah Pieken, junior, Gold Medal, Commercial Baking

Madi Kitson, junior, Silver Medal, Commercial Baking

Noah Belcher, junior, Gold Medal, culinary arts

Victoria Major, junior, Silver Medal, culinary arts

Honors in industrial technology:

Brendan MacAuley, junior, silver medal, architectural drafting

Colin Nachbar, senior bronze medal, architectural drafting

Asher Demo, sophomore, bronze medal, cabinetmaking

Owen Markwart, senior, bronze medal, technical drafting

Pieken and Belcher are now preparing to attend national competition this summer. 

Culinary arts competitors were asked to show judges a knife cut demo, chicken butchery, and cook and plate a chicken dish with several sides.

Belcher, who attends SMSD’s culinary program from DeSoto, said achieving success at this level requires a lot of practice.

“You have to take critiques and use that to change what you are doing,” Belcher shared.

In commercial baking, Pieken, a Shawnee Mission North student, said one of the secrets to her success was taking time and asking questions of her instructors.

“It has involved a lot of practice, and baking involves a lot of steps where you have to be very exact,” Pieken shared.

The Broadmoor Bistro served as a site for judges to watch and evaluate state competitors remotely.

Industrial Arts honorees are Shawnee Mission Northwest students, instructed by Howard Newcomb.

SkillsUSA is an education association, including students and teachers, that works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It serves middle and high school students preparing for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations.