State champions prepare for national competitions in KY


The RamPage Staff, Reporters

skillswinnersGraphic Communications teacher Lane Yokoyama accompanied his SkillsUSA members to the SkillsUSA Hawaii State Championships on Feb. 10-11 with the goal of winning.

“The best in the state all were there at the State Championships. Everyone wants to win,” Yokoyama said.

Eleven SkillsUSA members competed, and by the next day, their chapter took home eight awards, with two of the awards qualifying Richard Dela Cruz (12), and Jordan Abanto (11) to compete at the national level in Louisville, Kentucky. Later, it was announced that runner up Madison Ramirez (11) is also joining them on the trip because the gold medalist declined to attend.

“I was in shock, because last year I got third place so I wasn’t expecting to get first place,” Abanto said.

When Abanto shared his news with his dad, he said his dad laughed. Abanto’s dad was also Yokoyama’s former student and club member, who also participated in the  Job Skills Demonstration competition.

“Winning was exciting because I never won something like this before,” Dela Cruz said. “It’s a really big accomplishment because of all the long hours in the competition and all the hard work that I’ve been doing for the past year and a half.”

Waiting to hear if she will join her three peers is former Brown Bags to Stardom grand winner Nicole Villejo (11) who is a finalist to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremonies.

Yokoyama said that his members used what they learned in class and practiced for their events.

“Our goal is to prepare ourselves to be competitive. We practiced after school, on weekends,and a few holidays,” Yokoyama said. “Everybody knows that to be competitive you must prepare.  Preparation was a key factor to the success of our team this year.”

Yokoyama said that this year’s group is one of the best teams he has had in a long time.

SkillsUSA will fundraise kalua pig, cookies, tshirts, and towels to help with students’ travel expenses to participate in the national competitions.