The Folsom Cordova Unified School District sent two full buses of Career Technical Education students to Southern California last weekend to compete in the SkillsUSA 57th State Leadership and Skills Conference in Ontario and the Cal-HOSA State Leadership Conference in Anaheim, with several students earning top honors in their respective competitions. 

Students represented FCUSD in the events from Folsom, Vista del Lago, and Cordova High Schools. With their success, several of them now qualify to compete at the national level in conferences scheduled for this summer. 


“Career Technical Education (CTE) offers a hands-on approach to learning that equips students with practical skills essential for success in their chosen career paths and FCUSD applauds the students who participated in the CTE statewide competitions,” FCUSD Superintendent Dr. Sarah Koligian told Folsom Times, after she learned the district’s great success this past weekend. “These competitions cultivate teamwork and innovation, and help students forge the tools they need to thrive in tomorrow’s workforce, ensuring they emerge not just job-ready, but future-ready.”

The SkillsUSA Championships in California is a premier event showcasing the state’s most highly skilled career and technical education students. As one of the largest hands-on workforce development events statewide, it takes place each April alongside the SkillsUSA State Leadership & Skills Conference.


With over 3,000 state champions competing in 120 skilled and leadership competitions, this inspiring event is a testament to the excellence and relevance of classroom training to employers’ needs.

The championships are part of a year-long process that begins at local chapters progressing through district and regional levels. Winners not only receive gold, silver, or bronze medals but also have the opportunity to advance to the national conference in June and earn scholarships, tools, and job offers, showcasing the bright future of skilled trades in California.


In the Skills USA conference, over 3800 different students from throughout California competed. Folsom High School brought home seven different medals, including three gold medals, three silver, and one bronze. Vista del Lago High School brought home a bronze medal from the SkillsUSA conference and numerous honors from the Cal-HOSA Conference.


Gold medalists from Folsom High School included Alex Radell, who took top honors in the 2-axis CNC programming competition, Seth Brewer, who took the top spot in the 3-axis CNC programming category, and Colby Harris who completed the gold medal trio with the top score in the 5-axis CNC programming category. In all, Folsom took home gold medals in three of the four total categories.

Folsom High School students Alex Radell, Colby Harris and Seth Brewer all took gold medals in CNC programming competition at the Skills USA competition. Pictured with instructor Andrew Bias (above). Top Photo: Folsom High School SkillsUSA Team pictured in Ontario.

Silver medalists from Folsom included Natalie Elliot Cisneros who excelled in the Extemporaneous Speaking class. Praneeth Mandalupu took silver in the Internet of Things/Smart Home category. Jayani Sri Nandika Duggirala took silver in Principles of Engineering/Technology. Folsom’s bronze medal was earned by Kennice Tee. Tee earned the honor in Related Technical Math.


Vista del Lago took a bronze medal in SkillsUSA for the efforts of Minha Ashraf, who took the podium spot in Graphic Design. 

Vista del Lago then took numerous honors in the HOSA Conference, known as the HOSA Bowl where competition categories included Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking, Pathophysiology, Medical Law and Ethics, EMT, Medical Terminology, Cultural Diversities and Disparities, Emotional Well Being, American Red Cross Volunteer Service, Barbara James Service Award, Medical Reading, Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, and Occupational Health and Safety. The bronze award, known as the Barbara James Service Award went to Vista’s Julina Nakamura and Aditya Rajeev. 

First place in the Emotional Well-Being Challenge went to Vista’s team of Sreya Komati, Nishka Surve and Saiharini Lakshminarayanan. Second place in Biology went to Anya Sinha. Hansika Kolli earned fourth place in Researched Persuasive Writing and Speaking. There were two fifth place honors for Vista, which included Sarayu Pasumarthi for Anatomy & Physiology and Isaac Nam for Medical Reading.

Vista del Lago High School’s team for the HOSA State Conference in Anaheim where they took multiple honors for their work.

HOSA Future Health Professionals is the premier organization for student leaders pursuing careers in the healthcare industry. HOSA’s two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.

The organization is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, California Department of Education, the Health Science Education Division of the Association for Career and Technical Education, National Consortium for Health Science Education, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and over 50 other health-related partners and industry associations.

Through the HOSA Competitive Events Program, California members compete in teams or as individuals in over 45 different events related to all aspects of health care. HOSA is integrated into the Health Science Education curriculum to develop and recognize smart, dedicated, and passionate future health professionals.

Students from Cordova High School participated in both the SkillsUSA and HOSA Conferences as well. While they didn’t claim medals, they made noteworthy efforts in nearly a dozen categories of competition. Among the different categories were; 20-Second Elevator Story; Additive Manufacturing; CO2 Race; Community Action Project; CPS – Industrial & Engineering Technology Cluster; Engineering Technology/Design; Pin Design. Principles of Engineering/Technology and more. 

With their success, several FCUSD students qualified to compete at the National conferences this summer which will includeHOSA’s Internation Leadership Conference in Houston, TX – June 26-28, and the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta, GA – June24-28.

Those wanting to learn more about FCUSD’s CTE program can do so on the FCUSD CTE website.

Members of Visa del Lago High School’s Skills USA team.
Folsom High School’s SkillsUSA Team that competed in Ontario this past weekend.
The SkillsUSA California State Conference put students before an audience of thousands last weekend.
Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.