This year marks the 20th Annual Saskatchewan Skills Competition and 18 students from ECS were in Regina competing in a variety of trades. 

"Skills Canada is an Olympic style competition," shared Joyce Mack, a cosmetology teacher at ECS, "that tests secondary and post-secondary students in an industry-related test. It tests everyone's skills against industry standards."

"It's a practical application. A lot of occupations are geared towards technical skills."

Countless hours have put in by students to get to this point.

"A lot of skills can be developed in the classroom environment and a lot of trade areas extend out of the classroom, more extracurricular on top of it."

"We're starting to see now, the students taking those skills and knowledge and putting it into a work environment so that's exciting to see how they handle the stress and thought-process and taking instruction and camaraderie with other competitors from other schools which represents a workforce."

Not to be forgotten are all the teachers who have put in extra hours and helped the students get to this point. 

"It's all worth it when you can see that they're relaxed and they have a calm feeling that they know the next steps. I would rather put in a bunch of hours with them and have that camaraderie that we learn together. I think that's what makes it special."

"We've got a lot of staff members from the Estevan Comp. that are running competitions and they're all working hard out there on the floor so these students can compete against each other. We've been fortunate that our school board has allowed our staff members to participate because this is really good professional development for us."

The awards banquet was held Friday night and medals were handed out to students winning gold, silver or bronze.

Those receiving gold medals will compete in Edmonton at Nationals on June 4-5. This year is also a qualifying year for World's as well which will take place in Kazan, Russia in 2019 however, Mack shares that most of those spots go to post-secondary students.  

Architectural CADD - Jade Ruel - Gold*

                   Levi Stepp - Silver

IT Software Applications- Conner Gerling- Bronze

Beauty Therapy-Ashley Tedford-Silver

Bridal Hairstyling –Avery McNabb-Silver

Hairstyling-Cazlynn Barnstable-Gold

                   Ricki Graham-Silver*(replacement for National )

Mechanical CADD- Eric Swirski-Gold*

Precision Machining-Hunter Wallster-Gold*

*Gold medalists have the opportunity to advance to Nationals in Edmonton.

Photos courtesy Tara Johns, James Dobos 

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