Putz national champion in Skills USA event

4 SCHS students represent Wisconsin in competition
NEW Media Staff

The Shawano Community High School Skills USA Chapter sent four contestants to the National Skills USA Leadership Conference in Atlanta last month, and one came home a national champion.

Baeylan Putz took first place out of 34 competitors in automotive maintenance and light repair. He had a live contest in which contestants rotated through 10 workstations that followed Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) standards in vehicle maintenance and light repair. Putz put in a lot of effort during his high school automotive classes and even more work outside of class to prepare himself for this competition. Putz is the first-ever SCHS Skills USA student to become a national champion.

Arianna Ross placed 25th in welding sculpture out of 44 competitors. She created a trout scene metal sculpture that she made at school ahead of the state and national contests and put the sculpture on display. While in Atlanta, Ross had to perform a variety of welding skills, present her portfolio and explain the design process to judges who are experts in the field.

Nathan Eiden took 28th in automotive service and repair. He had a live contest in which contestants rotated through 13 workstations representing all the different areas of automotive repair using ASE standards.

Bradley Miller finished 30th in T-shirt design, creating a Wisconsin-themed shirt that represents the Skilled Trades of Skills USA. By winning the state contest, Miller’s design was used on T-shirts that all Wisconsin representatives wore in Atlanta during social activities. His design was on display, but he also had to present his design process and portfolio to the judges. Miller is currently a junior and looking forward to earning another trip to Atlanta next year with an opportunity to improve his skills.

To reach the national conference, contestants must win their contests in the state they represent. There were contestants representing and competing in 115 leadership and skilled trades contests from 50 states and two territories. These contestants from around the country are the best in their trade at this level of training, according to a Skills USA press release.

“More than 6,000 students from every state in the nation participated in the 2024 Skills USA Championships,” said Skills USA Executive Director Chelle Travis. “This showcase of career and technical education demonstrates Skills USA at its finest. Our students, instructors and industry partners work together to ensure that every student excels. This program expands learning and career opportunities for our members.”