Weyburn Comprehensive School (WCS) had quite the showing at the 2023 Skills Canada Saskatchewan competition recently. There were 14 WCS students that took part in the competition on April 28th, with WCS student Dylan Honig competing on April 26th.

Held at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatoon, 13 of the WCS students medaled, including four gold, five silver, and four bronze medals. 

Margot Arnold, Business Education Teacher at WCS for over 20 years, said that there are different categories for secondary and post-secondary students to participate in for the competition, including cosmetology, braiding, bridal, esthetics, public speaking and machining. Two of her students, Natalie Butz and Camryn Greve, participated in the Information Technology (IT) Software Applications and Arnold said they had excellent results. 

"If the students place gold, they go on to Nationals, which is being held in Winnipeg this year. Some of the categories don't go on like the cosmetology ones don't. We have Max Lawrence going to Nationals for machining."

Arnold said that unfortunately, her two students, Butz and Greve, who received gold and silver medals respectively, are both in the school musical that's coming up next week. 

"So they were not able to go, so it got passed down to the bronze, so there is a student from Swift Current going for IT Software Applications."

Arnold explained that the students committed to practices prior to the competition with their teachers, to prepare them as to what they may encounter.

"For example, with my category, they do Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. They're marked 50% on Excel, 30% on Word, and 20% on PowerPoint. They're given a data file and then a sheet that says 'apply this style' or 'change this to bold' or 'put in an 'if' statement in Excel' to make the scenario work in the Excel program and different things like that. Then they're marked on that and then they get a score and then for second or third they take part in the awards ceremony."

The advisors attended the competition as well, Arnold shared. "The students were able to take a tour at Sask Polytech to see different trades and technologies that they could go into. There is a real need for trades and technologies in today's economy, and once the baby boomers retire there will be lots of job options for them."

Arnold said that the Skills Canada Competition didn't happen for a couple of years due to COVID, with the last time being approximately 2019.

"It was a very impressive finish and the President of Sask Polytech at the awards ceremony said 1700 competitors came through the doors between high school students and post-secondary, because they do it at both levels."

Arnold summed up the competition by saying, "I'm very proud and excited at the results of Skills Canada and I can't wait to see how Max [Lawrence] does in Winnipeg. I'm hoping to hit Nationals next year and with a repeat of my two students, Natalie Butz, who won Gold and Camryn Greve, who won silver. I told them next year, hopefully, let's have a repeat performance."

The medal winners are as follows: Gold for hairstyling braiding, Kary Huang, silver for hairstyling bridal, Kary Huang, bronze for aesthetics, Carlee Wade and model Shayna Gosling, silver for electrical, Nicholas Borth, bronze for construction, Jack Vogel, bronze for baking/pastry confectionary, Sy Boquida, bronze for public speaking, Dalton Molnar, gold for IT software applications, Natalie Butz, silver for IT software applications, Camryn Greve, gold for machining, Max Lawrence, gold for architectural technologies, John Barretto, silver for mechanical CADD, Noah Lang, and silver for welding, Dylan Honig.

The Skills Canada National competition will be held on May 25th and 26th at the RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

WCS 2023 Skills CanadaWCS Skills Canada Saskatchewan competitors for 2023.(Photo courtesy of WCS Business Education teacher, Margot Arnold).