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Sammamish High Senior wins gold in national screen printing competition
Sammamish High School senior Rachel Rock couldn’t believe it.
“Everyone around me started screaming and Mr. Danielsen said ‘Stand up!’. I looked and my name was on the big board!”
A surprised and thrilled Rock recently won first place in the Screen Printing Technology competition at the National SkillsUSA Championships in Kansas City, Mo. Rock represented Washington in the event after winning the state competition last spring. Rock is a student in the Production Graphics course at Sammamish, taught by Tom Danielsen.
The SkillsUSA Championships is the national-level competition for public high school and college/post-secondary technical students enrolled in career and technical education programs. More than 6,000 students from across the nation competed in 98 different occupational areas and leadership contests.
Rock’s competition pitted her against two dozen other students, many of whom attend Skill Centers or technical high schools, where students spend up to half their day perfecting their screen-printing skills. The competition itself included seven specific areas of judging over several days, including written tests, an oral interview and practical skills challenges, which tested her knowledge of screen printing practices, as well as her eye for quality control.
After graduation, Rock plans to study Business Management and Spanish at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her interest in business has been sparked by two years in the Production Graphics course at Sammamish, which is designed to be a business.
Students in the class gain hands-on experience, from start to finish, in creating high-quality products such as business cards, custom T-shirts, posters, large banners and vinyl decals. Customers include Sammamish school groups, as well as other schools, local non-profits and other organizations.
“That is why I want to go into business,” says Rock. “I work in a business. I work with customers who are actual customers. I work with deadlines I have to meet. It’s just like a business.”
SHS Production Graphics students dominate at the annual statewide SkillsUSA competition, winning nearly every state title in Graphic Communications in the last 20 years. First place winners go on to compete at the national SkillsUSA event, where they almost always place in the top 10. This is Sammamish’s second gold medal at nationals in the past five years.