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CCIC students showcase their skills in SkillsUSA Competition

CCIC students building a wall with bricks. For the first time, students in aviation, automotive, and construction pathways at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC) showcased their skills as part of a SkillsUSA Competition.

The students were given a set of plans in the morning and tasked with assembling the project to the plan specifications within a certain timeframe. The events included automotive maintenance and light repair, aviation maintenance, solo carpentry, solo plumbing, solo electrical, solo masonry, and a team build.

“I hope the students get a sense of pride in their work, an accomplishment on everything that they’ve learned so far, and that they walk away with a business card from a future employer,” Construction Pathway Teacher Mike Degitis said.

For most of the students, it was the first time to work on their own and to be judged by professionals. SkillsUSA is a nonprofit national education association which brings together students, teachers, and industry partners to work to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

“We don’t want to see kids fail, we like to be watching over their shoulders and correcting them as they go, but today was an important day for them because they had to try something on their own with no help to see what they’ve learned and how they can problem solve,” Degitis explained.

CCIC automotive student speaking with judge.More than 70 students competed. Students from other schools attended the automotive regional competition and the CCIC students competed to be the top competitors amongst their peers in each of the trades.

“I feel like this is a good knowledge level test to get some real-world testing, not just sitting down with a paper and pencil,” Grandview High School Senior William Schimberg said. “This is a test of what you will actually be doing, what you will see in the industry and from there you’ll get feedback, which you can learn!”

Schimberg plans to attend the Colorado School of Mines focusing on automotive design. He was evaluated on Saturday on his knowledge and expertise on certain objects of a car.

“I was that kid that would take things apart and put them back together so cars was the next logical step for me,” Schimberg added.

CCIC student working on electrical outlet.During the competition, students learned about themselves and how they work under pressure. Cherry Creek High School Senior Quaid Hirch said he had to wire a bunch of lights, switches, and outlets into a breaker in the electrical competition and it was his first time doing it by himself.

“I have learned to slow down and double check my work,” Hirch said. “It’s pretty fun. I don’t have to deal with other people’s mistakes. It’s easier for me to backtrack if I make a mistake. I encourage other students to do this competition when they get the chance.”

The team project for four construction students involved building a structure which included electrical work, plumbing and a roof. There was an all-girls team who encouraged one another if one student started to get stressed out about their part of the project.

“We are pretty confident in our ability to finish the project,” Smoky Hill High School Junior Chantal Amandor said. “We know what each of us have to do so it’s nice.”

The winners of the competitions will go on to compete at the SkillsUSA Colorado State Competition in Pueblo, April 3-5.

CCIC student measuring out wood.Construction SkillsUSA Competition Results


  1. Anna George (OPT)
  2. Charles Pritchett (CCHS)


  1. Colton Spenhoff (CTH)
  2. Quaid Hirsch (CCH)


  1. Adrian Aybar (CTH)
  2. Matthew George (GVH)


  1. Cruz Olivas-Kavanaugh (EHS)
  2. Paloma Teague (EHS)

Team Works

  1. Parker Hartley (GVH), Wyatt Walters (GVH), Simon Kibbee (GVH), John Clinton (CTHS)
  2. Will Baxter (SHHS), Jack Huettner (CHS), Luis Soteno Pak (EHS), Dustin Doetzer(EHS)

CCIC Aviation students in the SkillsUSA Competition.Aviation SkillsUSA Competition Results

  1.  Adrian Pacheco (CCHS)
  2. Alec Tenorio (EHS)
  3. Tenley Hollman (CCHS)

Automotive SkillsUSA Regional Competition Results

  1. William Schimberg (GVH)
  2. Darren Mann (Pickens Tech)
  3. Parker Martin (GVH)
  4. Calvin Lyons (Future Forward Washington Square)
  5. Ryan Biggins (Bollman Tech)
  6. Eddie Caceras (GVH)

Posted 2/17/2023.

CCIC student working on a plumbing project.