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FPW Students Win at Provincials, Going to National Skills Competition

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Two F.P. Walshe School students are headed to Skills Canada nationals after their wins at the Skills Alberta Canada competition in Edmonton earlier this month. 

Cordelia Yip (grade 12, pictured left) won gold in the photography category. "Seeing the world through different lenses is like thinking of the world in different perspectives," says Yip. "I love photography because it is traditionally an art that captures natural beauty which already exists, and it enhances features that many would otherwise overlook." Cordelia competed in the 2023 provincial skills competition and placed 13th out of 20 competitors. This motivated her to spend more time preparing and working hard towards her goal. "The entire process matters, not just the result, and for me, that second chance to compete was the result of everything I learned from the first," says Yip.

Cassidy Sutherland (grade 11, pictured right) qualified for Team Alberta in the aesthetics category, in her first time competing in Skills. Because there is no high school aesthetics category, Cassidy went up against post-secondary students in makeup, facials, reflexology, manicure, and lash & brow events. "The best part of the competition is that through it we discover what we are capable of," says Cassidy. "And how much more we can actually do than we ever believe possible."

Skills Canada and its provincial and regional competitions promote skilled careers in trades and technology to youth. This year, 24 students from Livingstone Range School Division did well enough at the regional level to compete at provincials. We congratulate all those students who prepared and competed in categories such as culinary arts, hairstyling, public speaking, cabinetry and cabinet making, baking computer animation, automotive, job skill demonstration, 2-D animation, photography, and web design and development. Students are judged by a technical committee made up of a teacher, college instructor, and industry experts.

Willow Creek Composite High and F.P. Walshe School teacher, Amanda High, has helped prepare students for Skills competitions for years, and was the one who reached out to Cassidy to encourage her to apply. "Most students don't volunteer because they are nervous and they don't always see or acknowledge they are capable of amazing things," says High, who is a journeyman hairstylist, certified esthetician, and certified teacher. "Through the Skills competitions, students showcase their talents and skills, gaining unbelievable confidence and experience in problem-solving and thinking that translate directly into workplace skills."

Career Transitions is a charitable organization that serves Livingstone Range along with five other school divisions in the region. They coordinate the South West Regional Skills competitions where students qualify for the provincial-level events. Judy Stolk-Ingram, Executive Director of Career Transitions, says "We sincerely appreciate teachers like Amanda who go above and beyond to help get students involved in Skills. With these experiences and wins now on their resumes, these students will be highly sought after as potential employees."

We wish Cassidy and Cordelia the best of luck as they represent Team Alberta in Quebec City at the end of May.

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