SkillsUSA in Gunnison High School


Lee Brunsting, Editor

This past October the national vocational leadership SkillsUSA club was started at Gunnison High School (GHS) and is run by Wyatt Phipps, the school’s woodshop teacher. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit CTSO (career and technical student organization) partnership of students, teachers, and industry to help the youth of America become skilled workers. This national education organization is available for middle school to college level students who are looking into careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA was founded in 1965 and continues to serve more than 331,000 students and mentors annually. As of this year four students are a part of SkillsUSA; these students include Grace Ricks, Stephanie Harvey, Kailyn Japuntich, and Taylor Grosse who are all Juniors. The club meets every Wednesday at lunch. One certification Mr. Phipps needed to run this club is his CTE (career and technical education) authorization.

 Their latest project was this past month, the club members decided to assist the Gunnison Country Food Pantry by making wooden food crates since their previous inventory consisted of plastic tubs. The local Food Pantry was very grateful for this act of kindness since they are also in the process of moving locations. This act of service helped to build the four students’ community relationship along with putting their skills that they’ve learned so far in action. One other of their previous projects was them hosting a fundraiser at the sugar plum festival in November. They sold candle holders, cutting boards, coasters that they all made themselves. This act of community service was a great success, pulling in $1,060. 

On April third through fifth the club will go to state competitions where they will compete in American Spirit. American Spirit is a competition which is based on community service. The feedback has been nothing but positive from students and members of the community that have been impacted by SkillsUSA. With support from coworkers and students at GHS, Mr. Phipps plans to continue this club in the future years to come.