Students prove themselves, school employment ready

Once again, Homer High School was named “most employable school” in Kenai Peninsula Borough School District CTSO, Career Technical Student Organization, competition. 

“I think Homer is going on year five as most employable school,” said Dan Bohrnsen, coordinator of this year’s competition at Kenai Central High School, held Jan. 29. “Homer has done very well. This year they tied with SoHi and, instead of a flip of the coin, we gave them both first-place plaques.”

Individual students enrolled in career and technical education classes at their schools competed in skills competition in the morning. The afternoon was focused on leadership skills, including delivery of prepared speeches, job interviews and job skills.

“It’s getting them ready to be a leader, to do good in the work world. All those are skills you need when you go to work some place,” said Bohrnsen. 

The 2014 competition was held at Homer High School. This year’s was held at Kenai Central, with 65 students from Homer, Kenai, Soldotna and Nikiski competing.

“In the past, we kind of had exploratory-type competitions like flora culture where they had to create a floral design. This year we said let’s stick with skills the kids learn in the classroom, welding, culinary arts, all the things Homer offers, those are competitions we had in this event,” said Bohrnsen. “It’s a way for them (students) to showcase their skills and see how well they do in competition.”

This year’s skills included culinary arts, construction, welding, early child development, small engine identification, drafting and photography. Homer took five first places, including Melanie Mastolier’s first place in welding.

“She’s awesome. She blew them all away and did a great job,” said Bohrnsen. “That’s what we try to do, show the kids a fun thing and hope it encourages other kids to be in those classes.”

Awards received by Homer High School students included:

Construction, second place: James Kraszeski

Welding, first place: Melanie Mastolier

Welding, second place: Alexander Clark

Small engine identification, first place: Nolan Bunting

Quiz bowl, first place: Nolan Bunting

Quiz bowl, second place: Zach Nelson

Prepared speeches, first place: Gregory Smith

Prepared speeches, second place: Nolan Bunting

Job interview, third place: Elias Graham

Job skills, second place: Nolan Bunting

Job skills, third place: Alex Clark and Kyle Johnson

Photography, first place: Nolan Bunting