Our new national officers have a lot in common. Sure, each of them is really involved in SkillsUSA and serious about studies and employment. But they all have something else going for them: someone who sees something in these students that they didn’t see in themselves. Sometimes it’s a family member, sometimes a local business partner but more often than not, it’s a teacher who believes in them. So if this year’s national officer team proves anything, it’s that a student’s inspiration can come from many different places. Who are you going to inspire today?
1. Stephanie Usry is SkillsUSA’s national high school division president. She’s also the student body president at Central High School in Cheyenne, Wyo. She’s a computer-aided drafting student and interested in a career in public relations. She says of her advisor, Brian Stevenson, “He has just been such an inspiration. He's one of the greatest men I've ever known. He has just pushed me so far pushed me, challenged me with all these new things.” Other than her instructor, Usry admits to being influenced by previous national officers, whom she calls “inspiring.”
2. High School Vice President Jennifer Lopez (no, not that one and for the record, she’s heard that joke already) studies criminal justice at Townview Law Magnet in Dallas. She wants to go to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and is interested in working for the FBI someday. She admits her advisor, Severo Perez, had to give her a little bit of a push to run for office. “I really wasn't sure about it. I didn't think it was something for me. But he put me in it and he said I had what it took.” When she has some down time, Jennifer likes to hang out with her friends and do what she describes as “typical teenager things” like going to movies or parties.
3. Roselia Hernandez is the high school secretary. A business technology student at Southern Nevada Vocational-Technical Center in Las Vegas, she plans to study advertising and public relations after high school. She likes going to Barnes & Noble to check out what’s new in the world of books and also likes going to the movies.
4. Kristina Berreondo, the national treasurer, is a criminal justice student at Townview Law Magnet. She wants to go to college and major in advertising. Eventually, she’d like to own a restaurant. Berreondo likes to help other people in creative ways, leaving kind notes or doing something silly to make them laugh. “Anything to make them more comfortable,” she says.
5. High School Parliamentarian James Calle got an early exposure to SkillsUSA. He was in seventh grade when he first found out about it. He’s a culinary arts student at Mary M. Knight High School in Elma, Wash., but would eventually like to be an attorney. Calle loves music and was raised on “good old-fashioned rock and roll,” he says. He also likes movies and is very involved in his church.
6. Region I Vice President Sheila Vasquez is a culinary arts student at Cranston (R.I.) Area Career and Technical Center. After high school, she plans to attend Johnson and Wales University to study entrepreneurship. Vasquez has been in drama for three years. A triple threat dancer, singer and actress she has appeared in productions of Once on This Island and Godspell.
7. Ashley Hopkins is the Region II vice president. She goes to Stephens County High School in Toccoa, Ga., where she is a health care science student. She eventually plans to be a nurse anesthesiologist. She also twirls and dances for her school during the halftime shows at football games.
8. Ashley Watson is a cosmetology student at Eastland Career Center in Groveport, Ohio. Now serving as Region III vice president, she plans to work in cosmetology after graduation. Watson is also involved in her school’s student council and is her SkillsUSA chapter’s president. “I just like to be very active and be a part of everything to try and make a difference,” she says.
9. Region IV Vice President Stevie Kuhn attends Cass Career Center in Harrisonville, Mo. She’s a health sciences student and plans to work as a pharmacist, and she's following her cousin's example by attending a career center: “She held a local, district and state office for Missouri, which really made me proud ... From her inspiration, I'm now a national officer for our organization.” Kuhn says she knows when to work and when it’s time to have fun. She says her goal is to “inform the uninformed” about SkillsUSA. She also plays basketball and likes going to movies.
10. Isaias Favela, Region V vice president, attends Cibola High School in Yuma, Ariz. He’s enrolled in the automotive program there and plans to be an automotive technician. Favela says he loves working and does so everyday. He also collects Hot Wheels cars. “I have over 150 of them,” he says.
11. Anthony Daniels is this year’s college/postsecondary division president. He attends Louisiana Technical College in Lafayette, where he is in the accounting technology program. Eventually, he wants to be a network specialist. He enjoys horse racing and hopes to own a horse one day that will compete in the Kentucky Derby. (For more on Daniels, see the facing page.)
12. College/Postsecondary Secretary Matthew Crump attends Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. He’s studying industrial design. He credits a member of the family with his success: “My mom has really pushed me to what I am today. She's beeen my role model and my leader.” An avid swimmer, Crump works as a lifeguard at his local pool. “I spend a lot of time there and have a lot of fun there,” he says.
13. Joshua Lehman, the college/postsecondary treasurer, attends North Dakota State University in Wahpeton. He wants to be a juvenile corrections officer but has also talked about becoming a lawyer. Married, Lehman has two children.
14. Topping off the team is Sean Apsey he’s 6 feet 7 inches tall. The college/postsecondary parliamentarian attends Illinois Central College in East Peoria. He’s studying HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) to become a building automation technician. The idea to run came from an industry partner from Caterpillar: “The bug got planted in my head when our corporate member Steve Hitch asked us if we were going to run for national office.” Apsey loves to play golf. Yes, he’s surely been asked, “Why not basketball?”
Find out more about our 2005-06 officers here.
SkillsUSA Champions | Fall 2005 | Volume 40, No. 1