At the end of March, the Clay County Middle and High School TSA teams would have normally traveled to Cedar Lakes in Ripley, West Virginia for State Competition. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s competition was held virtually, entirely over the internet. The virtual TSA competitive events closely mirrored traditional competitive events, with changes primarily in submission procedures. Rather than appearing in person, participants were required to upload projects, supporting document portfolios and interviews to an online judging platform where they were scored by judges from all over the State. Additionally, students remotely accessed competitions, general sessions, and other conference-related events from their electronic devices including computers, tablets, and phones. This year’s conference theme is Together Towards Tomorrow.
TSA is the Technology Student Association. It is an organization where students work and learn about STEM, or the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The competitions are all strategy, problem solving or researched based. Each of the students worked many hours perfecting their projects. Their hard work and dedication paid off. Clay County Middle captured ten first place trophies and one second place. Clay County High School won three first place awards and one second place.
CCMS State winners were: Career Prep: Jaxon Brown; Challenging Tech Issues: Sawyer Dobbins and Ilyauna Evans; Chapter Team: Ilyauna Evans, Juliann Gallaher, Zoey Jones, Madison Morton, Morgan Payton and Katie Price; Children’s Stories: Ariel Dobbins; Construction Challenge: Ilyanna Evans, Madison Morton and Katie Price; Digital Photography: Jaxon Brown; Leadership Strategies: Rylee Burkhamer, Gracey Champ and Gracie Johnson; Prepared Speech: Sawyer Dobbins; STEM Animation: Ariel Dobbins and Sawyer Dobbins; and Website Design: Jaxon Brown, Ariel Dobbins and Sawyer Dobbins. Juliann Gallaher earned a second-place finish in Prepared Speech.
CCHS State winners were: Biotechnology: Isaac Brown and Dylan McCumbers; Chapter Team: Caleb Atha, Holt Dawson, Nicholas Evans, Dylan McCumbers, Madison Paxton and Matthew Shelton; and Video Game Design: Dylan McCumbers and Isaac Brown. Madison Paxton earned second place honors in Prepared Presentation.
State officers for the 2021-2022 school year were also elected. Holt Dawson from CCHS will serve as State TSA Vice President.
By virtue of their success at the State level, each of these students earned the opportunity to compete in the National TSA Competition. In total, twelve middle school students and seven high school students achieved this honor. Thousands of students from across the country compete at nationals. Under normal circumstances, the participants would have traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in person the last week of this month. However, again due to the pandemic, it too is being held virtually. The events began on June 1 and continue throughout the month with an Awards Ceremony to be held June 23, 24, and 25.
Jessica Ramsey, Chapter Advisor, is very proud of these students for not only being successful in competition, but for their work ethic, discipline, and perseverance in difficult times. The pandemic, coupled with the school schedule this year, made it hard to work together on team projects. Additionally, as in person contact was limited, students were required to navigate new rules, procedures, and contest requirements primarily online through emails and texts. It was a challenging year for everyone, but the students rose to the occasion and came out on top. Ms. Ramsey would also like to thank the teachers who took their time to field student questions, along with the parents, grandparents, and family members who helped make sure the students’ projects were complete.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same can be said about TSA. It takes a community to bring success and CCMS and CCHS students are fortunate to have that community support. This success would also not be possible without the support of the administrations at Clay County Middle School, Clay County High School, the Clay County Schools Administrative Staff and the Clay County Board of Education. We thank you!