If you think the future is bleak based on your opinion of today's youth, I invite you to take a close look at the accomplishments of Sentinel Career Center's students.
Sentinel's delegation to the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City placed no worse than third in every event in which it competed.
Chance Brickner, a Hopewell-Loudon High School senior in the collision repair program, received a gold medal from competing in the collision repair technology contest. Cory Smith, a 2010 New Riegel High School graduate who was in the precision machining program, received a gold medal in the CNC turning contest.
The health knowledge bowl team made up of medical technology students received bronze medals. The competitors are Tessa Clouse, a 2010 Calvert High School graduate; Brittany Narlock and Paul Satyanathan, 2010 Columbian High School graduates; and Mark Schock, a Seneca East High School senior.
To understand the magnitude of their accomplishments, think of the national SkillsUSA competition as a high school national championship.
Competing at national SkillsUSA would be comparable to state champion athletic teams competing against other states' champions for a national title.
Sentinel had not only one, but two, national champions. And the career center's other national SkillsUSA entry came in third. Impressive, isn't it?
Some students only can dream about succeeding at the state level. Few see their dreams of winning the state competition and advancing to the national contest come true. And, only the best get to stand on the stage as a first-, second- or third-place winner.
Elissa Heal, Sentinel's director, sent me text messages about the students' accomplishments throughout the awards program Friday. Saying I was proud of these students would be an understatement.
And, Sentinel's influence extends beyond its staff teaching students skills necessary to succeed in the work force. Even more importantly, students are learning about being good people.
Sentinel implemented a character education program that focuses on attributes such as trustworthiness, respect and responsibility. This year, it was the first career center to be named a National School of Character, and the district is to receive its award in San Francisco in October.
Tiffin and Seneca County should be proud of the accomplishments of Sentinel's staff and students and the business partners who help them.
I know the future must be bright for a community that produces students who are knowledgeable, have the skills necessary to succeed in their future careers and are people of good character.