More than 150 students from JAG-K programs across the state participated in the organization’s annual State Career Development Conference (CDC), held virtually on April 21. Winners of the six different areas of competition were announced that afternoon.
In past years, the State CDC competitions were held at a central location. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the competitions were conducted virtually for the second year in a row.
“Last year, very early in the pandemic, we found that we could still hold a very effective CDC virtually,” said Chuck Knapp, President/CEO of JAG-K. “It is really important that we provide students opportunities to showcase their skills. While we hope to return to an in-person CDC in the future, we may keep elements of the virtual event to allow more students to participate.”
The 150 participants competed in events that showcase competencies attained in the JAG-K program. Students who placed in the top three in the high school CDC competitions are:
· Employability: 1st Kaedan Kearn, Concordia; 2nd Ashlee Parker, Russell; 3rd Emma Paramore, McPherson
· Public Speaking: 1st Ryah Klima, Concordia; 2nd Adonica Daub, Goodland; 3rd Bryce Hopkins, Great Bend
· Financial Literacy: 1st Alexander Engle, McPherson; 2nd (tie) Nickolas Mercer, Seaman, and Gracie Leonard, Holcomb
· Project-Based Learning: 1st Tanner Rexwinkle and Hunter Robben of Russell; 2nd Jasmine St. John, Hutchinson; 3rd Dakota Aumiller, Great Bend
· T-shirt Design: 1st Riley Olauson, Hiawatha; 2nd Graciela Garcia, Pratt; 3rd Courtney Eickbush, McPherson
· Senior Scholarship: 1st Yoselyn Castaneda, Pittsburg; 2nd Blair Holiday, Holcomb; 3rd Cheyenne Gordon, El Dorado
Teams were also awarded recognition based on their collective performance. The top three teams came from McPherson High School (1st place), Concordia High School (2nd place), and Russell High School (3rd place).
Competition in four categories was staged for middle school participants as well. Westridge Middle School in Shawnee Mission placed first in the team standings, followed by KC-Turner Middle School and Kiowa County Junior High School.
Students who placed in the top three in the middle school CDC competitions are:
· Employability: 1st Olivia Overton, Westeridge MS, Shawnee Mission; 2nd Regan Greenleaf, Kiowa County; 3rd Corey Coulter, Colby
· Public Speaking: 1st Marcos Hook, Cruz Hernandez, Regina Uscanga, Shelby Stephenson, K’talya Webb, Turner MS Kansas City; 2nd Haylei Greene, Asher Odell, Avianna Balbueno, Kaysten Barrett, Colby; 3rd Breana Maxwell, Spencer Lowe, Jeremiah Anderson, Kellen Gibson, Winfield
· Financial Literacy: 1st Trevor Morgan, Hutchinson: 2nd Caden Perez, Westridge MS, Shawnee Mission; 3rd Brooklyn Gilchrist, Kiowa County
· Project Based Learning: 1st Brielle Poe-Thomas, Parker Witt, Humberto Miranda, Westridge MS, Shawnee Mission; 2nd Myron Berry, Dylan White, Izzy Gomez, Turner MS Kansas City; 3rd Ryan Flores, Kadyn Vierthaler, Hutchinson
Earlier this year, each of the eight JAG-K Regions hosted Career Development Conferences to determine those who qualify for state. Qualifying students were those who placed in the top three of each category at their Regional CDC.