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Local students win gold medals at state job skills competition

Students from North Medford and Eagle Point high schools brought home a bevy of gold, silver and bronze medals from a state education and job skills leadership conference last weekend.

North Medford students won four gold medals, two silver medals and two bronzes at the recent SkillsUSA State Leadership Conference in Clackamas on Friday and Saturday, April 25-26. Eagle Point students clinched three gold, four silver and two bronze medals.

"I'm incredibly proud of my kids," said North Medford SkillsUSA adviser and vocational skills teacher Kirstie Cristopherson.

The SkillsUSA organization links teachers, students and industry professionals to help prepare high schoolers for skills-based jobs. The national competition, held in June in Kansas City, Mo., brings together thousands of competitors from across the country to compete in close to 90 events ranging from architectural drafting and automotive service to video production.

"It's our future. We have lost our supremacy in the global market," said Eagle Point SkillsUSA adviser and shop teacher Matthew Boren. "What FFA is to agriculture, SkillsUSA is to everything else."

North Medford students came home with medals in architectural drafting, cabinet making, technical drafting and job interviewing.

Eagle Point won accolades for their performance in digital-cinema production, T-shirt design, power-equipment technology, prepared speech and technical math. Both teams won medals in the quiz bowl — a team competition — and job-skills challenges.