Vol State Team Successful at SkillsUSA Conference

Thu, Apr 25, 2024

On April 14th-17th, The Computer Information Technology department fielded the 2023-2024 SkillsUSA team to participate in the State of Tennessee Leadership and Skills Conference 2024. The team participated in four championship competitions.  Representing Vol State was:

Computer Programming

  • Gustavo Silva
  • Trendon Griffin

Cyber Security

  • Matthew Collatos
  • Ethan Kirkpatrick
  • Charlie Johnson
  • Taylor Young

Information Technology Services

  • Hannah Gorham
  • Brandon Henson


  • Taryea Bailey
  • Samia Guttierez

This represented the largest, and most diverse team Vol State has ever entered in the competition. 

Overall, the 2024 Leadership and Skills Conference attracted 2700 competitors from across the state. This includes competitors from Tennessee Community Colleges and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, as well as many high school and dual enrollment students.

In order to prepare for the competition, students volunteered to join the team in the fall of 2023. They completed several months of intense hands-on skills training, as well as online and in-classroom skills development instruction. They not only honed their technical expertise in their chosen discipline, but learned the history, purpose, and mission of the SkillsUSA organization. All of this was completed while accomplishing their regular academic coursework.

Over the months, this group of volunteers became a team that proudly represented Vol State, the CIT department, and each other. They shared information, did research, and helped one another become the best they could be. They became more than their individual selves.

This team faced fierce competition. However, Gustavo Silva won the silver medal in computer programming. Also, the team of Ethan Kirkpatrick and Charlie Johnson won the bronze medal in the grueling cyber security competition. They proved that they are and that Vol State is, among the best that the state of Tennessee has to offer.

Next up is the National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta in late June.

Most of our team members will be returning to compete next year. This team was trained under the leadership of Freda and Jonathan Pinkerton; supported by Jonathan Maynard, Martin Bell, Roger Styles, and Kevin Blankenship.

Blog Author
By Jonathan Pinkerton, Instructor of Computer Information Technology
SkillsUSA Team from Vol State
Bronze finalists at SkillsUSA 2024
Silver finalists at SkillsUSA 2024