HHS students sweep skills competition

The 21 students representing Homer High School in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District 2016 Career and Technical Student Organization Conference showed off their skills and picked up awards in 10 out of the 15 categories. 

The conference, which was held this year at Soldotna High School on Thursday, Jan. 28, allows high school students to demonstrate their skill sets — work skills, attitudes and values — as they relate to the real world. The CTSO conferences feature competitors from six different career and technical student organizations: Business Professionals of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; Future Educators of Alaska; Health Occupations Students of America; SkillsUSA; and DECA, a marketing, management and entrepreneurship association. 

Homer’s participants had a great time and demonstrated small-town values with world-class schooling by dominating the event, said Homer High School SkillsUSA Advisor Camron Wyatt.

Homer competed against Soldotna, Seward, Kenai Central and Nikiski high schools, and brought home a total of 18 awards — six in first place, six in second place and six in third place.

“Homer actually did amazing. We took a lot of the awards ourselves. Nolan Bunting took five awards in the categories he competed in — small engine identification, technical math, quiz bowl, prepared speeches and extemporaneous speech. 

“For construction, we had Homer take first, second and third places. Gregory Smith took first place, Jimmy Kraszeski got second, and our third place winner is Ro’en Bice. We almost had all winners in all categories,” said Homer High School school junior and SkillsUSA secretary Serena Morey. 

SkillsUSA is open to all students and provides time after school throughout the semester to work on specific skills of interest to each student. The Jan. 28 event matched Homer students against other schools on the peninsula and was a chance for the Mariners to gauge their chances at the state competition in Anchorage. 

Homer’s SkillsUSA students will go up to the Downtown Anchorage Hilton Hotel from March 30-April 2 to compete at the statewide conference.

“I feel like we’re going to do really, really good. I feel like we have a strong amount of people with us that are dedicated to the work and able to take challenges and able to complete them,” Morey said. “There’s not many of us, but we have very strong, independent people that work very well with others. We’re kind of like our own little family.” 

Anna Frost can be reached at anna.frost@homernews.com.

KPBSD 2016 CTSO Conference Results  for Homer High School:


Gregory Smith, first place

Jimmy Kraszeski, second

Ro’en Bice, third

Culinary Arts:

Tyeler Cooper-Day, second                   


Small Engine Identification:

Nolan Bunting, first 

Ethan Smith & Sean Moran, third


Ian Taylor, second

Ian McCormick, third                         


Technical Math:

Nolan Bunting, first

Landon Bunting, second

Quiz Bowl:

Nolan Bunting, first

Landon Bunting, third

Prepared Speeches:

Nolan Bunting, first

Job Skills:

Hayden Chase, second                                

Gregory Smith, third


Tara Hueper, second

Extemporaneous Speech:

Nolan Bunting, first

Trailer Back-up:

Hayden Chase, third