Student also wins Cadillac for school at SkillsUSA contest

Last updated: September 03. 2014 10:26AM - 1591 Views
By - mstrother@lagrangenews.com



Jared Winkles, a senior at Troup High School, holds up his commendation from the Troup County Board of Education for placing third in the National SkillsUSA Competition in June. With him are parents James Winkles, CTAE supervisor and assistant principal at Troup High School, and Rachel Winkles.
Jared Winkles, a senior at Troup High School, holds up his commendation from the Troup County Board of Education for placing third in the National SkillsUSA Competition in June. With him are parents James Winkles, CTAE supervisor and assistant principal at Troup High School, and Rachel Winkles.
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Jared Winkles is following in the footsteps of his father.
The Troup High School senior this summer participated in the national SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Missouri, where he took home third place in Automotive Service Technology. Winkles was up against student from across the nation, with a total 6,000 competing in 99 categories, where he had to go through 15 stations that included diagnostics of engines, brakes, air-conditioning and electronics of vehicles; a job interview and safety precaution technology.
When he was announced as the third place winner, Winkles was amazed and excited.
“I was really surprised,” he said. “This was only my second year competing at the national level.”
Winkles described the crowded award ceremony area like a football field of people with two levels. When the ceremony began announcing winners, his third-place win was the first announced for the Automotive Service Technology category.
“It was kind of nerve-racking seeing everybody and walking down to the stage, but it was very exciting,” he said of the experience.
As the third place winner, Jared received a bronze medallion, $4,600 in tools and $20,000.00 in scholarships in addition to the $36,000 in scholarships he won at the State SkillsUSA Contest. He also won a 2013 Cadillac for Troup High School's automotive program.
During the actual competition and expo, the teen described it as fun for the first couple of days, but “then nerves start to kick in.” The weight of why he was there and everything he had worked for started to make him nervous.
The competition floor was packed with students from across the nation.
“You look down and just see several football fields of people competing,” Winkles said.
There were 15 stations each competitor had to go through, with three vehicles that they had to run several diagnostics and examinations on areas including the engine, electrical system, brakes, trans-axles, transmissions and air-conditioning, then go in for a job interview, safety precaution test and 100-question ASE test.
There was some fun at the event, too, though as the expo featured TV host Mike Rowe, best-known for hosting the show “Dirty Jobs,” who was at the event taping for new show he has coming out next year. Also, leaders of sponsor Snap-On Tools and Caterpillar were featured.
Father James Winkles, CTAE supervisor and assistant principal at Troup High School, lauded his son's determination and hard work.
“I'm just proud of him,” said James Winkles. “He worked real hard. It took a lot of time and he trained numerous hours, every chance we had to train, every weekend, and he asked for a lot of independent study, just a lot repetition to prepare because a lot of these stations are 20 minutes long. So he has to read directions and complete the job in just 20 minutes.”
The elder Winkles noted that his son was competing against “the best of the best” from every state, so the third place win speaks a lot about his ability.
Jared also has a chance to compete in next year's national event in Kentucky, where his father won at the national event in 1984. He also has a chance to go to the international competition in Abu Dhabi, which would mean opportunities to train with experts across the country in order to represent the USA.
For Jared's mother, Rachel Winkles, the win is a confirmation of years of looking up to his father's work.
“I'm really thrilled he had this opportunity,” Rachel Winkles said. “Jared grew up watching James' students go through this competition … he grew up wanting to do this.”
She added that she was excited about the opportunities the competition win opens up for Jared for travel, scholarships, making contacts with companies like BMW and Toyota so early in his career.
“To see him, our son, achieve this – it's just been great knowing how much it meant to James when he went into the SkillsUSA program and won,” Rachel Winkles said. “… It lead him into teaching. Now Jared is following in his footsteps, and the opportunities for scholarships, travel – it's very exciting.”
The SkillsUSA Championships is considered the largest single day of corporate volunteerism in America and valued at $36 million in industry support of donated time, equipment, cash and material. All contests are run by and judged by industry using industry standards for employment. More than 1,000 industry judges participated this year.
The SkillsUSA Championships is for high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA. More than 6,000 students from every state and three territories competed in 99 contests in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations this year.
In order to qualify for the national competition, the students competed in local, region and state contests. The state gold medal winners advanced to the national SkillsUSA Championships.

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