This year, VSB students impressively represented the district during the Vancouver-hosted 2013 Skills Canada competition, our country's national youth competition for skilled trades.
During the competition, the best of the best high school and post-secondary competitors from 10 provinces and three territories went head to head for gold, silver, and bronze medals. The students and apprentices showed their passion and drive in every one of the 44 trades/technologies represented. Competitors vied in fields as diverse as autobody refinishing, culinary arts, website design, electrical, masonry, IT networking and hairdressing.
"Trades are an excellent first-choice career option, and VSB youth are choosing ACE IT and secondary school apprenticeship programs to jump start their trades training," says career coordinator Karen Larsen. "Many of them will be fully-qualified and Red Seal certified by age 21. That's something to brag about. Our performance at the Skills Canada National Competition was just the cherry on top of the sundae."
Top VSB contenders this year included Eric Hamber's Candace Tam who competed in Graphic Design & Print Pre-Production (supported by teacher Tim Ireland), Templeton's Simon Wong who competed in Baking (supported by teachers Margot Murphy and Patti Koyanagi) and Hamber's Connie Cheng who competed in Fashion Technology (supported by teachers Nina Ho and Judy Chan).
Cheng won a gold medal this year, continuing Hamber's domination of Fashion Design - where they've taken the national top spot three times in the last five years (the other two years Hamber students earned silver).
Meanwhile, Wong won a silver medal, Templeton's seventh Canadian podium finish in Baking since 2003.
"We are proud that our young people have shown passion and commitment to their trade/technology through their participation in Skills," said apprenticeship teacher Wendy Gilmour.
More than 1,000 VSB students from 20+ schools attended the event as spectators, including the Lord Tennyson crew, who seemed to be visible everywhere in their bright orange t-shirts.