Continuing an unprecedented tradition of excellence, the 2019 West Side High School Welding program representatives took high honors at the SkillsUSA State Competition held in Hot Springs. Instructor Randy Carr, along with parent chaperones and supporting spectators accompanied the students to the 3-day competition involving written tests and judged skills performances. Students had to qualify to compete by placing in school competitions held earlier in the year. Participants must read prints and instructions, compile materials and equipment, then craft the printed project following industry standards and safety regulations. This is done while in full view of judges and spectators in timed competition.
Since 2007, Mr. Carr’s West Side students have garnered 17 gold, 14 silver, and 9 bronze medals in State competition, along with numerous top 10 finishes and a silver medal at Nationals. West Side students continue to set the bar in high school welding education and performance, and have gone on to post-secondary national and international competitions, even placing two competitors in the final three of World Skills contention in 2017.
This year’s Welding Fabrication team of Junior, Matthew Keeton, and Sophomores, Tanner Fife & Barrett Smith, took Gold Medal honors for the 7th consecutive title for West Side. Senior, Nate Smith, follows up previous medals in Pipe Welding and Welding Fabrication with a Silver Medal in Welding. Freshman, Asa Carr took Bronze in Welding. And Junior, Caleb Rose, took Bronze in Pipe Welding. First time competitor, Junior, Paige Mason, finish 12th in pipe welding.
The Gold Medal winning Welding Fabrication team and alternates will travel to the SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, Kentucky in June, where they will perform in an even more rigorous competition against gold medalists from all other represented states.
Mr. Carr would like to thank the school and the community for all the support they have shown him and his students and most of all God for giving him the opportunity to teach students a life skill that will make a difference in there lives.
In photo (from left): Matthew Keeton, Caleb Rose, Nate Smith, Welding Instructor Randy Carr, Barrett Smith, Paige Eicke, Tanner Fife, and Asa Carr.