Oak Harbor High School students Tia Fernandez and Skyler George can count themselves among the top 10 video production students in the nation after competing at the SkillsUSA national championship in Louisville, Kentucky during the last week of June.
To reach the national competition, the pair first had to win the top spot in Washington State. They did so in April.
In Louisville, their production skills were pitted against first-place winners from the rest of the U.S.
The competition included several layers, including completing a full resume, taking a written, professional-knowledge test, dressing according to specific rules and following detailed instructions, as well as filming, editing and mixing a short video under strict criteria and time restraints.
Their advisers, Oak Harbor High School teachers Chris Douthitt and Mary Arthur, could not have any contact with the high school team during competition time and the students were not allowed to discuss their production with advisers while involved in the three-day process. In other words, their production process and finished product had to be creatively their own.
SkillsUSA is a national membership association serving high school, college and middle school students encouraging them to pursue, and helping prepare them for skilled careers.
Oak Harbor High School culinary teacher Mary Arthur has taken students to national competitions before but this is the first time Oak Harbor video/filmmaking students have stepped forward to compete.
“Skyler and Tia jumped into SkillsUSA early and their talents and skills took them all the way to nationals and the Top 10,” said Douthitt.
“The national event is one of the biggest things I’ve ever seen. The competitions are at the highest level and the experience of attending is second to none. I’m extremely proud of our Oak Harbor team.
Not only were they great competitors but they were spirited representatives for our school and state as well as splendid traveling companions.”
George graduated from Oak Harbor High School in June and plans to pursue a media career in college.
Fernandez will be a senior next year and has already volunteered to put together a video about their experience as a way to promote the SkillsUSA competition to other Career-Tech students and teachers.