WCCT student achieves success at national competition

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 8/10/18

Rhiannon Harris has left her mark with the Walker County Center of Technology (WCCT) by placing sixth in the national SkillsUSA competition.Prior to graduating from Dora High School in May, Harris …

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WCCT student achieves success at national competition

Posted

Rhiannon Harris has left her mark with the Walker County Center of Technology (WCCT) by placing sixth in the national SkillsUSA competition.

Prior to graduating from Dora High School in May, Harris was finishing up her three-year graphic design education at WCCT. During her senior year, Harris designed a pin for the SkillsUSA Alabama State Pin Design Contest by using her graphic design skills to honor the 50th anniversary of SkillsUSA. 

SkillsUSA is a program that highlights the accomplishments of career and technical education students across the country by hosting district, state and national competitions to feature the work of over 6,000 students in 100 competition areas.

Harris' pin won gold in district and state competition, and this summer she competed at nationals, where she placed sixth in the nation among other high school students. When Harris won the state pin design competition, she even competed against college students.

Her winning pin is round and features a blue background at the top, with the buildings of Magic City outlined in black. There is a red ribbon across the center of the pin with Alabama etched in bold white, and the bottom of the pin pays homage to Alabama's 50th anniversary as a SkillsUSA member since 1968.    

"Birmingham is represented in this pin because that's where we hold our state conference," Harris explained. "Birmingham also has a very rich history in Alabama."

She also said the SkillsUSA colors of red, white and blue are intentionally represented.   

At national competition, Harris had to give a speech about her design choice and create a display board that had a laser engraved foam board rendering of the pin she created. The board also had descriptive text to explain her research methods and concept.

WCCT graphic design instructor Chace Frost said Harris had a perfect score in confidence at nationals. 

"One thing I tried to instill in her was for her to understand that although you do have those butterflies, you do it anyway," Frost said. "She grew more and more each time that she did that."

Harris also competed in the pin design contest at SkillsUSA nationals in 2017, where she placed eighth. 

"I could not be more proud of her for what she's accomplished," Frost said. "Her work ethic is incredible."  

She earned credentials in the graphic design program at WCCT to be an Adobe certified associate in visual design using Adobe Photoshop, and she is also PrintED advertising and design certified.

Her academic accolades also include an ACT WorkKeys Platinum certification, perfect attendance during her senior year at Dora High School, the highest class average in the Dora High agriscience program in 2017, the highest class average in geometry at Dora High in 2016 and A Honor Roll for 2014-18.

She received the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals Leadership Award for being an outstanding student in 2018, and was a junior ambassador with the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County from 2017-18. 

Harris will attend Bevill State Community College this fall on an academic excellence scholarship to pursue a career in secondary education or graphic design. She said her education at WCCT has prepared her to be a well-rounded scholar in college.

"I think people should get out of this experience of mine that WCCT can really do a lot for somebody. It can bring out the best in people if you apply it correctly and take it seriously," she said.

In addition to Harris' accomplishments, other WCCT graphic design students placed last year in district and state SkillsUSA competitions.