TJ SkillsUSA Compete Nationally 2017

TJ’s SkillsUSA team kills it at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

After finding success at the SkillsUSA State Conference last spring, Thomas Jefferson High School had the chance to bring five students to Louisville, Kentucky to compete at the national level. In order to attend the National Conference from June 19th through the 24th, members had to receive first place at the state competition. The SkillsUSA State Conference was held in Colorado Springs in April, where current senior Avery Hericks, junior Matthew Bulger, former Spartan Isabelle Ryan, senior Conner Side, and recent graduate Hunter Holmes received first place medals, qualifying TJ for the national conference.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit organization at TJ open for students enrolled in the CCT Magnet program, and its goal is to prepare students for careers in trade, business, and technology. CCT teacher Jerry Esparza introduced SkillsUSA to TJ ten years ago and has been the advisor of the chapter ever since. Esparza described, “I love the spirit of SkillsUSA because they put students first and it is all about helping students get to the next level as they prepare for life beyond high school. In a world that is ever changing and advancing in technology, SkillsUSA is training students to be champions at work.”

While TJ did not bring back any medals from Nationals, competitors were still successful and had a great time. Holmes and Side placed sixth in 3D Animation, Bulger took ninth in Computer Programming, Ryan earned eighteenth in Customer Service, and Hericks received twenty-seventh in photography. “It was amazing to be able to compete against such impressive people, and it was eye-opening to see their passion erupt while taking photos,” Hericks explained.

Over 16,000 people attended the National Conference, including students, teachers, and business partners. The opening ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 20th, commencing the competitions. Over one hundred hands-on competitions took place between middle school, high school, and college/post secondary students. The conference came to an end following the closing ceremony and awards ceremony on Friday, June 23rd.

Hericks and senior Katie Schroeck are returning to TJ’s chapter as this year’s co-presidents with aid from new chapter officers including Side and Bulger along with senior Grace Leonard and junior Jack McCord. Hopes are high that with this student leadership, TJ can accomplish the same success at the State Conference this April and return to Louisville next summer.

By admin

Programming Competition 2017

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock-

While it is really meant to be played “live,” the company your’ve been hired by wants to create a digital version where the player doesn’t go against the computer. Pictured below is the interface of the game.(Game is not function)

First Place: Matt Bulger

Second Place: Grant Junkermeier

Third Place: Julio Munoz

By admin

Web Design Competition

The web design competition requires a team of 2 students to create a Balloonery Event website. Based off a real world website, students were asked to update the site from the assets provided to them. They were able to create their own assets as needed. Displayed is the home page of each contestant. ( Site is not functional)

Frist Place: Rachel Sandler & Asianae Jackson

Second Place: Noah Mintz & Barry Green

Third Place: Grace Leonard & Lisa Boronikhina

Fourth Place: Nikki Nikolov & German Gomez

By admin

Video Competition 2017

  • All videos must have as their theme “Your Future”
  • All videos must include this line of dialogue ““Seeing Your Future at Thomas Jefferson High School”
  • All videos must include this prop: Pair of glasses

First Place: Eric Stolz & Oscar Nurmat

Second Place: Alec DeStefano & Spencer Tennant

Third Place: Helena Lawrence & Jovana Bjelanovic

By admin

3d Animation Competition 2017

In this 3d prompt, your team needs to create a 3d food or drink commercial pitting 2 or more rival brands against each other. Ultimately, one brand will rise to the top as the best choice.

First Place: Hunter Holmes & Conner Side

Second Place: Xavier Texidor & Rogelio Flores

Third Place: Daniel Orzescu & Colin Sonnerberger

By admin

Photography Competition 2017

Contestants for photography were required to submit 5 photos that represented each of the following genres: Action, Landscape, Portrait, Reflection,Still Life, and a set of 50 photo shots. Each photo and set was worth 20pts each. Posted are sample photos of the winners and runner up.





RUNNER-UP: TIM BULGER- REFLECTION (runner-up is an alternate if any of the top 4 winners are not able to attend State.)

By admin

SkillsUSA Fall Conference

Students at Johnson and Wales University

(CTSO) Career Tech Student Organization Fall Leadership Conference was held at Johnson and Wales University in Denver on September 30th. The purpose of the conference was to inspire students to become leaders in their school and communities. SkillsUSA TJ officers attended the conference. Here are some takeaways from the students:

“A key takeaway was to make your biggest weakness your biggest strength. By working on your weakness to change it for the better it allows for personal growth and shows the path taken towards success. Also, “It doesn’t matter your wealth, intelligence, or looks. Your DNA came together for a reason: to fulfill a purpose.” This resonated with me because it is such an elevated perspective on life. We are defined by and have control over our personalities and actions, not physical characteristics. We all are on this Earth for a reason and it is our job to find our purpose and do it everyday. Through the eye-opening experience at the conference we learned how to grow personally in order to be able to bring these improvements to TJ and the community.” – Rachel Sadler

“We are in control of our own stories. We control the outcomes and how we get there. we must complete the journey that we set out to do and make it the best that we can.”- Tyler Weiskopf

“This taught me that I didn’t just join SkillsUSA for the fun of it. I was taught that I joined it for a purpose. I set goals for myself and I am achieving them as I go along.” – Stephanie Chavez

“We were taught that character skills are the core to being a great leader. The first big thing we learned is that it’s alright to fail, and that fear of failure isn’t a reason to not try. Failing is how you learn and how you look for different or better solutions.”-  Asianae Jackson

“I felt that the lessons about self-confidence and overcoming yourself was very powerful. It made me realize how I should continue on in my life, and how I act and treat myself reflects on the outside and spreads to other people. Most of all, I learned the steps to success and I can’t wait to implement it in my everyday life.”- Alex Sor

“Take baby steps, it’s okay to want to achieve something large, or seemingly impossible, but you won’t be able to achieve it if you don’t start your journey towards it.” – Hunter Holmes

“A big part of the assembly I attended was meeting new people and getting to know others within a short period of time which can be helpful as an officer because throughout the year I will meet with many new people and learning these good communication skills will be helpful.” – Katie Schroeck

By admin

SkillsUSA State Competition 2016

Once again,our TJ students represented TJ with pride at the SkillsUSA State Conference in Colorado Springs. We had five 1st place gold winners and a total of 13 medalist.
Rachel  and Asianae – 1st place web design.
Kate  and Zach – 2nd place web design
Hunter  and Sam -1st place 3d animation
Rogelio  and Scott  – 2nd place 3d animation
Stephanie  and Tyler  – 3rd place 3d animation
Keith  and Eli  – 3rd placeDigital Video
Julio  – 1st place computer programming.
All 1st place winners qualify for SkillsUSA Nationals in Louisville, KY. The National Conference will be held the week of June 20th. If you see any of these students, please take time to congratulate them!


By admin

3d Competition 2016- Toy Store

Story: Rendition of Toy Story

Scenario: The door has been shut as the toymaker leaves the store. But without realizing it, the toy maker knocks over a bottle of glue. The glue is stuck to one of the toys. If the glue is left to dry too long the toy will be forever stuck. His or her toy friends (5 of them) come to life and work together to find a way to free their friend. Toys rejoice that their friend is free.

Quality of Modeling: 25 points

Quality of Animation: 25 points

Answered all the Prompts: 20 points

Creativity: 10 points

Sound: 10 points

Follow Instructions: 10points

First Place: Hunter & Sam










Second Place: Rogelio & Scott










Third Place: Tyler & Stephanie










Alternate Runner Up: 4th place: Bobby & Noah










Alternate Runner Up: 5th place: Colin & Xavier




By admin

State Qualifiers 2014-2015

State Qualifiers: PHOTOGRAPHY

Contestants for photography were required to submit 5 photos that represented each of the following genres: Action, Landscape, Portrait, Reflection, and Still Life. Each photo was worth 10pt for a total of 50pts. There were 3  judges.

1st Place- Katelin Kelly- 125 points


Action shot


2nd Place- Alec Stolz- 119 points


Landscape Shot


3rd Place- Anja Oss- 118 points

Portrait- Shot

Portrait- Shot

Runner Up- Paula Mortel- 110 points

Landscape- Shot

Landscape- Shot

State Qualifiers: WEB DESIGN

The challenge this year was to do a redesign of the Colorado County Fair, Columbus, Texas. Students were judged on the code, header, navigation, content, design standards, and completion. Creative appeal was a considered, but not the focus. The pictures below show only the front page of the website. Putting a functional redesign on the web could create conflict with the real website (

1st Place- Jacob Neumann & Josh Schaffer

Team4web2nd Place- Morgan VanderReit & Rachel Sadler



Runner up: Chase Remme & Jeremy Isaac



State Qualifiers: 3D ANIMATION

The 3d challenge this year was to create a 3d model of a plane taking off from the Denver International Airport (DIA), flying over the mountains and crashing in a remote small town. The project was judged based on:

Quality of 3d Models:    15
Quality of Animation:    10
Addressing the prompts:    10
Creativity:    5
Text and sound:    5
Following instructions:    5

1st Place: Luis Avila & Jame Ambrosen

Team 13 Bird Encounter-poster2nd Place: Hunter Holmes and Sam Trout


3rd Place: Stephanie Chavez and Tyler Weiskopf

Team9BirdEncounter-posterRunner up: Bobby Vlier and Noah Gomez


Runnerup: Rogelio Flores & Scott McMahon



State Qualifiers: Video

The theme for this year’s video: “The Gift”. The Dialogue: “Give to the work what matters”. The Prop: A wrapped present.

1st Place: Travis Domagala & Weston Wilkins



2nd Place: Long Le & Chris Scarbrough


State Qualifiers: Programming

The Challenge was to write a program which will allow the user to enter and convert an US Dollar amount to the currency of different countries. The 2nd challenge was to write a program which will allow the user to find the weekly pay earned by an employee using a variation of input data.

1st Place: Nick Capra

2nd Place: Declan Kahn

3d Place: Julio Munoz

Runner up: Natan Getschel

By admin