Central Kitsap High School team wins Skills USA gold

Brandon Burt and Elizabeth O’Gara are Central Kitsap High School’s dynamic duo when it comes to 3-D visualization and animation.

And they have the gold medals to prove it.

“I was dry-sobbing on my way up,” O’Gara said of the moment she and Burt were announced the winners at the 45th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference June 21-26 in Kansas City, Mo. “It was one of those moments.”

Jim Adamson, CKHS career technical education instructor, accompanied six students to the conference. The students had already won regional and state competitions and were invited to compete for the national title.

The contest had entries from post-secondary schools as well as 26 high school teams, each competing against teams at their own level.

A written test was given first, and according to O’Gara, there was no way for the team to prepare for it. Burt said they were told the test would be mostly math.

“But there was no math on it,” he said. “It was mostly questions about technical details.”

“It was over our heads,” O’Gara added.

However, grumbling among the other contestants about not knowing many answers to the test questions put them a bit more at ease and gave them “just a bit of confidence,” O’Gara said.

The teams were given eight hours to create a 3-D viral video advertising a brand of licorice called Swirls, made by the fictitious Jupiter Company. A dress code was mandatory as well as a resumé for each of the participants.

The video created by Burt and O’Gara depicts a ballroom where some stuffy, well-dressed licorice are having what appears to be a boring party. That is until the Swirls show up. The brightly colored Wild Licorice- and Tart Berry-flavored candies begin to show the others how to live it up and the boring licorice begin to transform.

For the win, each student received a gold medal and their school got a 24-inch 3-D television set from the Alioscopy company.

James O’Gara, Elizabeth’s father, said the CTE program is one he feels is very important in schools, especially in the current economic climate.

“It teaches real world skills,” he said. “These kids can go out and get a job today.”

Linda Burt, Brandon’s mother, and Maureen O’Gara, Elizabeth’s mother, both agreed Central Kitsap School District Superintendent Greg Lynch and all the teachers in CKSD deserve a lot of credit for the success of their students.

“Teachers like Jim are here to teach,” Maureen O’Gara said. “They are not just here to earn a paycheck.”

“Kudos go to Greg Lynch,” Adamson said. “He is a big asset to the district and can captain my ship any day.”

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