By Jesse Gallegos
Luna Community College
Luna Community College students Crystal Rae Martinez and Earl Varela brought home gold medals from the state SkillsUSA competition held in Albuquerque last month.
Martinez, a senior cosmetology student from Las Vegas, wowed the judges depicting the cast of the heavy rock group KISS on the nails of her model Victoria Perea. Martinez competed in nail care.
“It was a long, tough road but it was worth the work,” said Martinez. “I learned you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
Earl Varela, a senior from Las Vegas was the other LCC student to take first-place honors. Varela earned a gold medal in the collision repair category.
“It was a good experience,” said Varela. “There was a lot of hard work and dedication, but it pays off in the end.”
LCC had four second place finishers. Marcia Garcia took second in nail care. She painted Sesame Street characters on her model Antoinette Baca. Also taking second place were Lawrence Gomez, Kenneth Ulibarri and Anne Wu. Gomez competed in collision repair, Ulibarri in extemporaneous speaking and Wu in culinary arts.
Roxanne Garcia finished third in cosmetology. Gary Gamertsfelder will represent New Mexico as a state officer.
Martinez and Varela will compete at the SkillsUSA national competition in Kansas City in June.
“I’m very grateful that these students courageously took it upon themselves to compete and represent Luna Community College,” said LCC President Dr. Pete Campos. “They did it in a highly-respectful and dignified manner. To me they are all winners.”