Franklin County High School students become Skills USA State Champions

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 5:42 PM EST
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - If there’s one thing that’s been learned over the past year, it’s how to make the best of any situation.

“Usually we do a huge exhibit up at the state fair of students competing in things. This year, we had to go virtual platform, so we had the kids perform skills they’ve learned in their classes and then submit them as a virtual skills contest,” said Ken Kilinski, a Skills USA Advisor for Franklin County High School.

390,000 students nationally compete in Skills USA, and that includes roughly 200 Franklin County High School students, who all show off different trades and skills.

“My favorite subject is probably going to be welding,” said Ryder Lilly.

Ryder Lilly is a junior and now a state champion in welding, a trade he’s hoping to pursue full-time after graduation.

“Its a useful thing to have all these classes here and the teachers work really hard, so I think they sometimes forget they can take all these classes,” said Lilly.

For Lilly and the other four students from Franklin County who placed in the 2020 state competition, the small scale awards ceremony was a small piece of normalcy.

But whether the skills are recorded or done in person, they’re worthy of being shown off.

“If you’ve never witnessed a Skills USA competition in person, you really need to check it out; you’ll get a better understanding of what our students are learning,” said Kilinski.

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