CHS students look to turn skills into gold |

CHS students look to turn skills into gold

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Hannah Fluitt, a junior at Carson High School, adjusts a photo during the State Occupational and Technical Skills competition in Reno on Wednesday.

By 11 a.m., Hannah Fluitt had already had a long day at the SkillsUSA Competition.

The Carson High School junior was at the Reno Events Center just before 7 a.m. to begin competing in the photo category of the competition.

Before she finished, Hannah had taken a natural light portrait as well as photos to correspond and complement poems, took and edited two additional prints, set up a specific light ratio in a studio, color corrected several photos and completed a simulated job interview.

“That’s the most difficult aspect is knowing all the skills to do well overall,” Hannah said.

Yet the most nerve-racking part isn’t the requirements, it’s her competition.

Sitting just one table over is CHS senior Lauren Easby, last year’s state gold medalist. Hannah took the silver.

Photography is one of more than a dozen areas in the occupational and technical fields included in the competition, which took place Tuesday through Thursday in Reno. The event allows high school and college students to compete for a shot at the national competition, held in Kansas City in June.

Thirty-three students from Carson High took part in the competition, including Greg Saunders and Tyler Bourns, who were looking for gold in the video production category.

“They were given two hours to shoot video and two hours to edit it for a 60-second commercial on the National Auto Museum. After they’re done editing, they take a written test,” said Brian Reedy, video production teacher.

Erika Frick, a freelance videographer who was judging the video production entries, said that she likes being able to mentor the students and see firsthand their creativity.

“Especially in this field, mentorship has really given me a leg up in my career,” Frick said. “My advice to them is don’t be intimidated. You hear stories about how hard it is to get into the entertainment industry, but just go for it and follow your dream.”

That advice was echoed by Kelly Bridegum, editor of the “Brushfire,” the University of Nevada, Reno’s arts and literature journal.

Bridegum, a 2003 CHS graduate, was one of the photography judges at the competition.

“If you really have an interest or a passion in photography, there’s really nothing that can stop you from doing it,” Bridegum said.

Susan Taylor, CHS Occupational and Technical department chairwoman, was confident in her photography students chances of medaling.

“We’ve been doing this competition for 12 years, and we’ve only had one where we didn’t win the gold,” Taylor said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.

Web Design (Teams)

Clark Milholland and Lydia Peri, gold

Mandy Norman and Michelle DeLarge, silver

Tory Knutson and Makala Tronson, bronze

Video Production (Team)

Tyler Bourns and Greg Saunders, gold


Hanna Fritz, silver

Destiny Casci, bronze

Culinary Arts

Elizabeth Lewis, silver

Commercial Baking

Tracy Morris, bronze

Prepared Speech

Lauren Easby, silver

Extemporaneous Speaking

Steven Gall, silver

Destiny Casci, bronze

Job Demonstration

Devin Earl, silver