Three Hamilton High School students brought home medals from the SkillsUSA state competition in Wisconsin Dells. Seniors Lauren Braier, Rebecca Mulkey and Megan Speckin were judged among the best Wisconsin competitors in their divisions.
- Speckin took first place and a gold medal in the graphic communication division.
- Braier took first place in advertising and design.
- Mulkey was a bronze medal winner in advertising and design.
Speckin and Braier’s first place finishes qualified them for national competition this summer in Kansas City.
As part of the graphic communication competition, Speckin competed in a seven-part contest that tested students’ understanding and abilities related to digital workflow, electronic prepress, finishing, offset press operations, oral professional assessment, production planning and technical knowledge. Assignments included creating a file in a page layout program, cutting paper to specifications, preparing a tabletop folder for precise folding exercises, installing a plate on a press and printing two colors on a preprinted two-color sheet. She was interviewed and asked to solve problems related to paper, ink and production.
Braier and Mulkey’s technical skills and creative aptitude were tested as though they worked for an advertising agency. In addition to a written test, they recreated an advertisement on the computer and were judged on their accuracy, proficiency with industry-standard software and ability to meet a deadline. The creative aspect of the competition required application of original thinking and development to a design problem. They were judged on layout, drawing and illustration skills as well as their ability to create vibrant, effective designs using a computer.
SkillsUSA is a nationwide partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It is a nonprofit organization serving high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations.
(from left) Lauren Braier, Rebecca Mulkey, Megan Speckin, all seniors, and Hamilton graphic arts instructor Tom Schlueter