SkillsUSA Champions - Summer 2014 : Page 14

In the tornado’s aftermath: (clockwise from left) “Pride” remains in the rubble of the technical center; a SkillsUSA medallion hangs in a destroyed classroom; Floyd and Robinson rescue their regional advisor of the year awards, which survived unscathed “Through the positive efforts that SkillsUSA provides through leadership confer-ences, community service and skills competition, we will continue to grow in spite of the setbacks.” —Jason Floyd, service careers instructor, Canadian Valley Technology Center They spread out the materials to dry in Floyd’s garage, but most were too damaged to rescue. He contacted the students, who met at another Canadian Valley campus, recreated their work and arrived in Kansas City ready to compete. “SkillsUSA provides all the key elements that we instill in our students to achieve their personal goals,” says Floyd, who works primarily with young people who have special needs. “Through the positive efforts that SkillsUSA provides through leadership conferences, community service and skills competition, we will continue to grow in spite of the setbacks.” Students Jennifer Taylor and Mariah Galloway salvaged their Community Action Project notebook and display, which wound up earning a silver medal. Taylor, who admits being devastated after working so hard on the first display, recre-ated the piece on her own at home. For the students, seeing their school destroyed was difficult. Experiencing a tornado is nothing less than traumatic. With broken sentences and deliberate speech, these survivors vividly recount what they’ve been through. Each expresses tremendous gratitude that things didn’t turn out worse. Sean Bruce and Tia Brewster, Employ-ment Application Process contestants, say they were sad to lose their school. Cynthia Horse, a technical assistant at Canadian Valley who lives in Chickasha, Okla., had lost her home to a tornado two years prior. Her mother and three children were there at the time and survived. Now her school is gone. Instructor Robinson describes an unfathomable sight. “Right outside my back door ... there was a 148-foot-long, 32,000-pound propeller off of a wind energy tower that we had anchored in concrete to the ground. The tornado picked that propeller up, carried it a good 100 yards and sliced it into our Health Careers building like a knife in butter.” School opened in August at a leased car dealership, and the reconstruction of the new campus is in the works. Being in a temporary space that’s much smaller than the campus is a challenge. For Robinson, the outpouring of support for the school has been awe inspiring. His gratitude extends to the SkillsUSA Oklahoma alumni who picked up the dry cleaning tab for heavily soiled blazers and raised funds for new ones. “It’s a teachable moment for us,” Floyd says. “You’re always going to have setbacks in life, and through SkillsUSA and through life, you can overcome these.” Ever the proud teacher, Floyd adds, “I didn’t need a tornado to be inspired by these kids.” • 14 SkillsUSA Champions Summer 2014 Photos provided by Jayson Floyd

Previous Page  Next Page

Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here