Jaysen Henderson, a graphic arts student from the Southern Adirondack Education Center, won second place in the national SkillsUSA competition, held in Kansas City.
Henderson, a graduating senior from Queensbury High School, won for his work in photography.
Henderson was one among seven Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES students who won in the SkillsUSA state competition and were invited to demonstrate their hands-on abilities in their chosen fields on the national stage.
At the competition, which ran from June 25 to 27, students were presented a task that had to be completed within a set period of time. Jaysen, and the 36 high school students whom he was competiting against, were asked to bring back four good photos from an off-site photo shoot. He was then asked to photoshop the four good images into one. In addition to the images themselves, he was also judged on his knowledge of studio lighting, editing and troubleshooting with photoshop.
Jaysen, and the other participants, were judged by leaders in their chosen industries. Winners took home not just titles, but scholarships and prizes. Jaysen, for example, won a scholarship to the Institute of Art in New York City. He declined it and plans on attending the State University of New York at Purchase for Graphic Arts.
Jaysen continues the WSWHE BOCES sterling legacy of students competing and winning on the national level. In 2011, four SAEC students competed at this top level. In 2010, MacKenzie Baker from Warrensburg won first place in medical assisting, making her the second national winner in that category from WSWHE BOCES.
“We have an outstanding reputation for training students who can competently complete any task placed before them,” said Douglas E. Leavens, director of WSWHE BOCES’ Career and Technical Education. “It’s a testament to our students, our teachers, and our programs.”
Other area students who won at the state level and competed in Kansas City were: Meghan Lucia from the King’s School, Nathan Gaulin, Jacob Labrum, and Neisha Meacham from Hudson Falls, Michael Swift and Alexandra Tibbats from Saratoga Springs.
To qualify for the nationals, students had to win top spots in the local, regional and state SkillsUSA competitions where high school students from BOCES and technical schools vie for titles.
Students prepare as if they are training for a highly competitive athletic event, staying after school to practice their skill in such fields as culinary arts, medical occupations, and plumbing.
In addition to vying for top honors at the national level, students also participated in a service event and a leadership conference. Noel Peceu and Heather Taft from Fort Edward attended as delegates to the leadership conference from New York.
These WSWHE BOCES students and accompanying teachers were among 14,000 students, teachers, education leaders, and representatives from more than 1,100 national corporations, trade associations, businesses and labor unions at the event.
SkillsUSA, a national nonprofit organization, is devoted to rewarding students for excellence, for involving industry in directly evaluating student performance and in keeping career training relevant to employers’ needs. For more information about the SkillsUSA National Competition, please visit www.skillsusa.org/events/nlsc.