Taking its largest group ever, 28 Luna Community College students and staff members will be taking their talents to the state Skills USA competition from Thursday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9 in Albuquerque.
“I predict that Luna Community College will have at least three state champions,” said LCC collision repair instructor Anthony Baca. “We have a good caliber of students.”
Earlier this year, Baca was elected to the board of directors for SkillsUSA.
Representing LCC are: Gabriel Aldana, auto service tech; Carla Aragon, delegate; Anthony Baca, Skills USA Chapter Adviser/state board member; Antoinette Baca, nail care model/delegate; Kimberly Baca, cosmetology; Max Bustamante, delegate; Chris Castellano, delegate; Shane Coca, culinary arts; Catherine Gallegos, cosmetology; Gary Gamertsfelder, job interview/state officer; Marcia Garcia, nail care; Roxanne Garcia, cosmetology; Lawrence Gomez, collision repair tech; Celine Kramer, cosmetology; Crystal Raye Martinez, nail care; Gilbert Martinez, collision repair adviser.
Tom Nitcznski, automotive adviser/leadership adviser; Adrienne O’Brien, culinary arts adviser; Connie Ortiz, cosmetology adviser; Victoria Perea, nail care model; Gene Sandoval, automotive adviser; Rayna Tafoya, cosmetology; Ken Ulibarri, extemporaneous speaking; Phillip Ulibarri, collision repair tech; Earl Varela, collision repair tech; Edwin Varela, automotive service tech; Aliana White, extemporaneous speaking and Anne Wu, culinary arts.
“As a board director, I am proud that these students are going the extra mile to compete in this leadership program,” said Baca. “These students will represent Luna Community College very well.”
Gilbert Martinez, the adviser for auto collision, echoes Baca’s sentiment.
“I feel fortunate to be a SkillsUSA adviser,” he said. “Once again, I feel these students will put Luna Community College on the map. We mean business; we’re there to compete.”
O’Brien has two competitors from culinary arts.
“Anne is going for the second year and I expect her to place,” said O’Brien. “It takes a special person to put themselves in a competition like this one.”
Connie Ortiz’ cosmetology students also expect to do well.
“I feel the students have worked very hard preparing themselves,” says Ortiz. “They’re going to bring home the gold or silver in speech, nails and hair. They’re excited about going. Overall, it’s a wonderful program.”
SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers along with high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations including health occupations.
Last year Gary Gamertsfelder took first in the collision repair category. He went on to finish 8th at the national level.