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Students’ skills tested in Occupational Olympics
• Hughson takes small school honors
Madyson Daniels
Central Valley High School’s Madyson Daniels (third from left with fellow placeholders), took third in Overall Job Seeking Skills. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Turlock and Hughson high schools took top honors at the Stanislaus County Office of Education’s 38th Occupational Olympics and Career Exposition, held Thursday at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

Turlock took first place overall in the large-school division, while Hughson High was tops in the small-school category.

Enochs High (Modesto), meanwhile, took home the Best Career Pathway Exhibit for its forensic biotechnology program.

“This is a fun, real-world experience with a little competition,” said John Acha, Turlock Unified School District’s director of secondary education. “So, the things that they’ve been working on at the school sites, in the classrooms, and in those pathways specifically, they get to put it to the test.”

Nearly 900 students from 21 high schools, academies and institutes throughout the county, competed in 15 different occupational categories.

“It takes real courage for a student to want to join and compete in this,” said Saundra Day, Stanislaus County assistant superintendent of Education Options. “It can be scary; it can be intimidating. So, I just commend the students that take the initiative to compete in this. Honestly, they’re all winners at the end of the day because they could easily not have the courage to participate.”

In addition to the competition, local agencies and companies were on hand so that when students were done competing, they could take part in a job fair.

TID brought out a time-lapse video of a project, to demonstrate a portion of the types of jobs available at the utility.

In addition to TID, other agencies on site included the city of Turlock; Turlock Police Department; Turlock Fire Department; Stanislaus County Consolidated Fire Protection Division; and Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

Top finishers in each event were:

Ag equipment technology: 1st—Gary Coldicutt (Hughson); 2nd — Haiden Lopez (Turlock); 3rd—Ethan Larson (Hughson).

Basic life support CPR/first aid: 2nd — Gionna Feliciano and Johanna Mendoza (Central Valley High).

Career pathway booth: 1st — Enochs; 2nd — Johansen, 3rd — Central Valley High.

Job-seeking contest: 1st — Kate Chambers (Turlock); 2nd — Lillian Agueda (Hughson); 3rd —  Madyson Daniels (Central Valley).

Robotics: 3rd — Albert Gonzales and Eric Reyes (Central Valley High).

Uriel Mendoza
Uriel Mendoza, a Central Valley High senior, competes in salad preparation and display. - photo by Contributed to the Courier
Josh Ochoa and Jamileth Lopez
Central Valley seniors Josh Ochoa and Jamileth Lopez compete in the 12th Grade Food Science competition in preparing salad. - photo by Contributed to the Courier
Laura Flores and Angelica Hernandez
Laura Flores and Angelica Hernandez, both juniors at Central Valley High School, competed in the Salad Prep & Display competition in Turlock last week. - photo by Contributed to the Courier