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posted: 5/24/2013 2:16 PM

ECC students win several first-place gold medals at Illinois SkillsUSA

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Submitted by ECC

Several Elgin Community College students won first-place gold medals in the Illinois SkillsUSA competition, which was held April 11 through 13 in Springfield.

This is the sixth year the ECC heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration students competed in SkillsUSA, a national organization serving teachers and students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled and service occupations, including health occupations.

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Students from colleges, universities and postsecondary institutions across Illinois tested their technical skills against their peers and industry standards in various categories during the competition. Judges awarded medals, ribbons and certificates to students who demonstrate the highest levels of proficiency in the skill sets of each event.

Richard Iovan, of Belvidere, led a sweep in the sheet metal competition, earning a first-place gold medal. ECC students John Diller, of Huntley, won a silver second-place medal, and Caesar Garcia, of St. Charles, won third-place bronze. Diller also won a bronze medal in the HVACR event.

Although Iovan's gold medal win allows him to represent the college in the SkillsUSA Championships in June, he will be unable to attend. Diller, the second-place winner, will replace Iovan in the championships.

Another gold medal recipient was Sara Schaffer, of St. Charles, in the nursing competition. She will advance to the SkillsUSA Championships in June. Noelle Hoppe, of Elgin, also earned a gold medal in the state-only competition of interactive preschool bulletin board.

Other winners include: Chris Hejduk, Schaumburg, silver, culinary; Jenna Kittinger, Hampshire, silver, nursing; Janay Zirk, Hampshire, bronze, nursing; Noelle Hoppe, Elgin, bronze, preschool teaching assistant; Edith Pelcastre, Elgin, bronze, demonstration speech; Richard Iovan, Belvidere, fourth place, HVACR; and Cesar Garcia, St. Charles, fifth place, HVACR.

The SkillsUSA Championships will be held June 24 through 28 in Kansas City, Mo.

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