The Apalachee High School SkillsUSA chapter has been named one of 24 National Models of Excellence by the organization. Pictured, from left to right, are front row: Hayley Fleming, Calla Holmes, Joy Oladosu, Ell Contreras, Binta Bah, Alexa Mancillas and Haley Criswell. Back row: Jaia Ratliff, Shantalle Swift, Brenda Chavez, Johanna Cardona, Marco Arce, Ashley Martinez and Nick Lewis.

SkillsUSA, one of the largest student organizations for career and technical education in the country, has named 24 SkillsUSA schools as Models of Excellence for 2021, including Apalachee High School.

The annual program recognizes the exceptional integration of personal, workplace and technical skills into SkillsUSA chapter activities,” according to a news release. Apalachee was one of four schools in Georgia to receive the honor, along with Lanier Technical College.

“Our Models of Excellence represent the very best in chapter achievement and community involvement,” said Chelle Travis, executive director of SkillsUSA. “These students represent America’s future skilled workforce and are future leaders in their local communities. It is a tremendous honor for these chapters and the recognition validates these outstanding SkillsUSA programs.”

The focus of Models of Excellence is student-led activation. Students learn and practice the skills that every employer seeks, including leadership, initiative, communication, teamwork and problem solving by taking the lead on all SkillsUSA activities, according to the release. Their SkillsUSA instructors take the education of the students to the next level by guiding them, but never doing the work for them, elevating learning from classroom instruction to successful application of skills.

The top 24 SkillsUSA chapters selected as Models of Excellence will be evaluated in June for top honors. A panel of judges will evaluate each of these highest-level schools based on their goals, plan of action, results, evaluation and SkillsUSA Framework integration. Business and industry partners will conduct finalist interviews with students and advisors and then help select the top three schools to be recognized on June 24 during the National Leadership and Skills Conference virtual recognition session.


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