HCAM students compete at Nationals!

HCAM students compete at Nationals!
Posted on 06/26/2018
HCAM plaque

Hickory Career & Arts Magnet

High School Students

Compete at Nationals


Two academies from Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School (HCAM) are currently competing at the SkillsUSA National Championships competition held in Kentucky.

The SkillsUSA National Championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in the nation. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and national levels. Both of the HCAM academies, the Criminal Justice Academy (Crime Scene Investigation/CSI Team) and the Graphic Design and Photography Academy, won first place for the North Carolina competition—sending HCAM students to compete among the best in the nation.

Through an investment from business and industry partners of approximately $36 million, the event occupies a space equivalent to 20 football fields. In 2017, there were more than 6,200 contestants in 100 separate events. Nearly 2,000 judges and contest organizers from labor and management make the national event possible.

The philosophy of the Championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs.

The competing academies hold classes during the school year on the campus of Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School. However, the courses are considered “college-level” and offered to high school students through Catawba Valley Community College. The instructors are employed by CVCC. The collaborative venture between HCAM and CVCC has proven to be an excellent educational resource in preparing students for future employment opportunities. Enrolled students at HCAM represent every corner of Catawba County and beyond.

The HCAM Forensic Academy, instructed by Seth Bailey, conquered the first place award four times in the SkillsUSA State Conference; and last year, the team placed second in the nation for the Crime Scene Investigation.  They are hoping to take the national title this year. The team includes recent (2018) HCAM graduates, Shelby Sipe and Brian Martinez; and student, Christopher Torres.

In the Forensics Academy, students learn how to lift fingerprints, collect evidence, draw crime scene sketches, photograph, measure, and process crime scenes. Students have the opportunity to earn 18 hours of transferable college credit and a Certificate in Latent Evidence upon completion of the course study at HCAM.

The Graphic Design and Photography Academy, instructed by Natasha Stiles, was recently awarded first place in the North Carolina SkillsUSA competition with student, Benji Galan-Rodriguez taking the title in the T-Shirt Design category. As the first place winner, Benji is representing HCAM at the national competition. Another talented HCAM student, Nick Allen, was awarded second place in North Carolina for T-Shirt Design.

The Graphic Design and Photography Academy offers training in photographic techniques and applications in professional photographic disciplines with an emphasis on design, advertising, illustration, digital, and multimedia preparation of printed and electronic promotional materials. Students have the opportunity to earn 24 transferable college credits by the end of their senior year.

In addition to the Criminal Justice Academy and the Graphic Design/Photography Academy, HCAM offers Public Safety (Firefighting and EMT), Culinary Arts, Computer Programming, and Performing Arts. For more information or to apply for enrollment at Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School, visit the school’s website: http://hickorycam.hickoryschools.net or call: 828-328-6738.

(L-R) Graphic Design winners - “Benji” Alfonso Galan-Rodriguez, Natasha Stiles (instructor), Nicholas Allen, Jr.

CSI Team (In back, Seth Bailey, instructor);
(Front, L-R): Shelby Sipe, Christopher Torees, and Brian Martinez

 (Post/photos by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)

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