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Hughson claims school school title in career contest
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Seated on a tractor, Hughson Highs Trent Snyder glues his eyes on the trailer while backing it up through an obstacle course during the Occupational Olympics. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Hughson High School claimed the "small school overall award" during the 28th annual Stanislaus County Occupational Olympics and Career Exposition held March 20 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

Ranging from floriculture to firefighting, students spent the day engaged in contests to test their field of knowledge.

Central Valley and Ceres high schools sent students to the daylong competitive event and check out 63 business/industry representatives who exhibited and spoke during the Career Expo. Ceres students participated in Ag Engineering, Criminal Justice, Small Engine Technology, Floriculture, Medical Occupations, and Introduction to Business Applications competitions.

Turlock High School received the large school honors as approximately 750 students from Stanislaus County high schools participated in 24 competitive occupational related events.

Floriculture students, said CVHS agricultural teacher Heather Adney, competed against one another to correctly identify 25 house plant varieties, 25 cut flowers and 25 tools of the trade. They also had to evaluate arrangements in order of marketability, from best to worst; as well as judge the quality of house plant and potted plants. The end of the competition included corsage making using flowers, wire, tape and hot glue - in under 30 minutes.

This marked the 19th year that Ceres High School dispatched a team to compete in the Law Enforcement Investigation competition. Students played the role of an officer to investigate a mythical shooting. After interviewing the "victim" in a shooting, competitors questioned witnesses, taking down suspect and vehicle information, writing a written narrative of their findings and presenting their findings with two actual prosecutors from the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office. Deputy district attorneys then grilled the students about their findings to determine if charges were worthy of being filed in court.

"This really helps them understand the importance to communicate well verbally and write concise reports," said Cerny.

A number of local students walked away with either first-, second- or third-place medals.
Michael Craig, a Central Valley High student, won first place in Ag Engineering / Construction Trades while fellow classmate Kyle Earn took third place.

Hughson High School's Evan Hudelson claimed third place in Agricultural Equipment Technology competition.

Ceres High School student Jordan Dray won the silver in Criminal Justice competition.
Jesus Sanchez of Hughson High received the bronze medal in Introduction to Business Applications.

In the Job Seeking Skills competition, Hughson's Hailee Ramont took the silver and Brad Borges took bronze.

In the Portfolio Review, Brad Borges of Hughson High School earned the gold while Mark Borges took the silver.
Small Engine Technology competition saw Luciano Alves of Central Valley High School take third place.