Awards Programs

Recognizing Excellence


SkillsUSA offers a dazzling array of awards for its students and advisors, underscoring their commitment to promoting excellence and leadership in career and technical education. From distinguished personal honors like the Advisor of the Year to individual and collective achievements like the President’s Volunteer Service award, these recognitions highlight the dedication, skill, and community spirit that define SkillsUSA.

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), in partnership with SkillsUSA, is seeking nominations for the National Trade and Industrial Education Division Awards to be presented during the annual ACTE CareerTech VISION conference. (Please note the Trade and Industrial VISION Awards are separate from the ACTE Excellence Awards.)

This year’s conference will be held Nov. 29 – Dec. 2, 2023 in Phoenix, Az. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1, 2023. Qualified individuals may be nominated in the following categories, and you may nominate yourself. (If you nominate someone other than yourself, please be sure to notify the nominee.) Click on each award for the nomination forms:

For additional conference information, please visit ACTE CareerTech VISION 2023.

SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year Award honors SkillsUSA’s most dedicated career and technical education instructors. These talented instructors serve SkillsUSA advisors and embrace the SkillsUSA Framework and national programming to create career-ready graduates and opportunities for every member. States hold an Advisor of the Year competition, and the state winners advance to the regional competition. The top five regional winners are interviewed during the national conference, and a national Advisor of the Year is selected.

For more information, please contact your state association director.

The 2023 regional Advisors of the Year are:

Peggy Reilly-O’Brien | Region 1 (Massachusetts)
Peggy Reilly-O’Brien, a dental assisting instructor and SkillsUSA chapter coordinator at Cape Cod (Mass.) Regional Technical High School, believes wholeheartedly in career and technical education. “After 31 years, how could I not?” she says. “Anyone who thinks that students who attend a vocational school are “less than” the students at a general education high school doesn’t understand the rigor and value of a vocational education.” Reilly-O’Brien began her career as a Registered Dental Hygienist working in New York City and New Jersey. After several years, she went back to school and worked part time while attending New York University to earn a Bachelor of Science in Dental Health Education and a Master’s in Health Education. Wanting to leave the busy city, she moved to Cape Cod and returned to clinical dental hygiene while teaching as an adjunct instructor at Cape Cod Community College for eight years. In 1992, she answered an employment ad for a health teacher at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, where she taught health classes while helping to develop a new Dental Assisting program. Once the program was opened, she became the Dental Assisting Theory instructor, as well as continuing to teach health classes, along with Anatomy and Physiology for the health sciences. A few years later, she was asked to mentor Dental Assisting students competing in SkillsUSA. Within a few years, she became deeply immersed in the program and expanded her involvement as a SkillsUSA chapter advisor, becoming the school coordinator in 2018. Reilly-O’Brien now teaches Radiology Theory to seniors but is mostly focused on SkillsUSA as the school coordinator. She calls her involvement “the fun stuff” and hopes to continue a few more years before passing the torch. She has also coordinated the SkillsUSA Massachusetts Health Knowledge Bowl competition for the past six years. Reilly-O’Brien is married, has a son and two Australian Shepherds. When not working, she loves to travel, cook, and soak in the sun on the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod.

Steve Icenogle | Region 2 (Alabama)
Steve Icenogle has been the Automotive Service Technology Instructor at Alabama’s Enterprise High School for 19 years. There, he teaches four levels of automotive service courses, including dual enrollment for Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Icenogle oversees the certification process for his students through Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and develops relationships with employers in the community for job placement of his graduates. A teacher for 23 years, Icenogle previously taught Automotive Service Technology at Houston County Career and Technical Center in Ashford, Ala. He decided to pursue a career in education following a positive experience as a student with his own high school mentor and instructor. That experience made him want to use his knowledge of mechanical repair to help others, and he eventually earned master’s level alternative professional certification through Athens State University in 2006. Icenogle’s program has received numerous awards in skill and leadership competitions at the local, district, state and national levels. In 2021, he was awarded Teacher of the Year for Enterprise High School and Secondary Teacher of the Year for Enterprise City Schools. In 2022, he was awarded the Alabama Innovator Award by Alabama Works and was named the VFW local and district Teacher of the Year. This year the SkillsUSA chapter earned a Gold level Chapter of Distinction in the Chapter Excellence Program. In his free time, Icenogle volunteers at the local Autism Clinic, using his skills to help improve their facilities. He enjoys playing guitar and loves traveling with his family.

Gus Schmid | Region 3 (Illinois)
Gus Schmid is a firefighter paramedic who has served as a Johnsburg High School (JHS) SkillsUSA co-advisor, career and technical education (CTE) ambassador and community liaison. He helps run the Illinois school’s SkillsUSA chapter and seeks industry grants and donations to support their other CTE programs. Schmid was instrumental in the school’s diesel program, which became the second school in the state to receive accreditation by the Associated Equipment Distributors Foundation. This year, JHS principal Kevin Shelton and Schmid jointly received regional- and state-level “Reaching Out & Building Bridges” awards from the Illinois Principals Association for their collaborative work. Schmid, a JHS alumni, was offered the opportunity to chaperone the 2019 SkillsUSA Illinois conference with his former teacher and current principal Shelton. Attending as a parent, he learned the photography students were missing competition materials and volunteered to get supplies. Shelton encouraged Schmid to become involved, and he was quickly activated as a community member and co-advisor for the JHS SkillsUSA chapter alongside CTE teacher Marty Sands. Since then, Schmid has helped update JHS programs in transformative ways through successful grant writing that demonstrates the value of industry and community partnerships. He also serves as the school drama club technical director in charge of sound, lighting and set construction for theater events. The time, effort and energy Schmid devotes to helping others continues to provide students with meaningful experiences that lead to successful futures.

Bobbi Jo Linn | Region 4 (Missouri)
Bobbi Jo Linn became a graphic design instructor at Missouri’s Macon Area Career and Technical Center in 2017 after relocating from New Mexico. Before that, she worked in the graphic design industry for 15 years but felt called to teaching. Moving from a large city in the desert to a small farming community was a big change and a culture shock, but one she calls “well worth it.” Linn believes in the ideals of SkillsUSA and loves to see what the students can accomplish. After only her first year of teaching, she became the SkillsUSA chapter lead advisor and says she has learned and grown right alongside her students. The Macon chapter has grown rapidly from about 20 to 178 students. In the five years she has been the lead advisor, Linn has supported three state officers plus 11 national competitors from her graphic design classes. She views career and technical education and SkillsUSA as important tools and resources to help her students discover what they can become. “It teaches them the skills they need to exceed in their future, whether it be in the workforce or in a classroom earning a degree,” she says. “The value of technical education can be seen by the passion that our students develop, the confidence they develop, and the skills they learn.”

Andrea Barallardos is the 2023 SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year!

Andrea Barallardos | Region 5 (Arizona)
Andrea Barallardos has been a dedicated Physics and Engineering Technology educator at Arizona’s Douglas High School for 24 years. During that time, she has served in many leadership positions, including department chair, 301 Committee president, head coach of multiple sports and lead SkillsUSA advisor. As coach of the school’s coed cheer team, she led her group to state championships in 2022 and 2023. Her dedication was recognized in 2022 when she was named the school’s Female Coach of the Year. In academics, Barallardos teaches five classes in physics and engineering technology.

While running a successful SkillsUSA chapter. In 2022, two of her students became state champions in Robotics and Automation Technology and another earned a silver medal in Job Skill Demonstration. In 2023, she had teams win gold and silver in Robotics and Automation Technology as well as a team win the gold medal on Mobile Robotics. Barallardos’ chapter has earned the SkillsUSA Models of Excellence award twice, an accomplishment that brings well- deserved pride. In August, Barallardos became the Region 6 Coordinator for SkillsUSA Arizona and ran the regional competitions. In 2023, she was also named Douglas High School Teacher of the Year. She was recently named the Cochise County Teacher of the Year, the school’s chapter received the Jefferson Award from SkillsUSA Arizona. On a personal level, she is a dedicated wife and a mother of four and an active member of her church. Barallardos says, “I am a very passionate person and love to encourage and motivate others to do their best, which I believe makes me a successful teacher.”

National-Level Recognition of  Lifetime Achievers Investing in Youth Development

Award Criteria
The SkillsUSA Hall of Champions Award is an honor bestowed upon those who have dedicated their lives, at a national level, to helping youth develop the components of the SkillsUSA Framework (personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics) necessary to be successful in a changing world. Their legacy on SkillsUSA will continue far beyond their career.

Hall of Champions Award
A candidate may be nominated by a state SkillsUSA association director or current or past SkillsUSA board member, SkillsUSA HQ staff member, SkillsUSA chapter, stakeholder, alumni, or other leaders in the organization. The nomination form must be accompanied by up to five (5) letters of support from SkillsUSA members, CTE instructors, SkillsUSA advisors, parents, advisory committee members, etc. The letters of support must demonstrate the nominee’s breadth and depth of impact on youth development within the SkillsUSA Framework.

Honorees to be recognized as Hall of Champion Award recipients must have performed service, at a national level, that had great impact on youth development in the components of the SkillsUSA Framework: personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics. It is not necessary for nominees to have already received the state-level Hall of Champions Award.

General Information
The deadline for returning the application is Feb. 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Apply online!

One of SkillsUSA’s highest recognitions is the Honorary Life Membership. Each year, it is awarded to individuals for their outstanding service that advances the mission and values of the SkillsUSA organization over an extended period.   Individuals are nominated for this award by their peers and administrators.

Eligible individuals for this award will:

  • Be a current or retired SkillsUSA professional member or partner of SkillsUSA
  • Have a proven track record of supporting the mission of SkillsUSA at the local, regional, state and/or national levels.

Educators are selected by a committee of SkillsUSA’s Board of Directors based on:

  • Their years of involvement with SkillsUSA
  • Significant CTE contributions at local, state, and national levels

Nominations will be accepted beginning December 1 and will close on February 14.

Click here for the Honorary Life Nomination Form.

Each year, SkillsUSA is proud to honor individual educators for their commitment and dedication to their students, Career and Technical Education and to SkillsUSA. Individuals can be nominated for this award by their peers, co-workers, supervisors, or students.

Eligible educators for this award will:

  • Have at least three years of teaching experience.
  • Be a registered professional member of SkillsUSA.

Educators are selected by a committee of SkillsUSA’s Board of Directors based on:

  • Proven commitment to student success
  • CTE contributions at the local, state and national levels
  • Significant educational positions held

Nominations will be accepted beginning December 1 and will close on February 14.

Click here for the Outstanding CTE nomination form.

SkillsUSA is one of thousands of certifying organizations that participate in the national PVSA program, which is administered by Americorps and Point of Light Foundation. SkillsUSA can only process applications of students who enrolled in a SkillsUSA classroom as part of a CTE class at their middle school, high school, or college. The information on this webpage is for SkillsUSA students, advisors, and state directors only. Only the applications of registered, active SkillsUSA students will be processed by SkillsUSA.

If you are a volunteer, but you do not belong to a SkillsUSA chapter as part of your middle school, high school, or college, visit the official PVSA website for more information:

The Presidential Volunteer Service Award
The Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is a national honor offered in recognition of sustained volunteer service. As a certifying organization of the PVSA, SkillsUSA members may apply to receive the PVSA through the SkillsUSA national office for volunteer hours served over a 12-month period. Recipients receive:

  • an official lapel pin reflecting the Bronze, Silver, or Gold service level.
  • a personalized certificate of achievement.
  • a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.

PVSA recipients frequently include this honor on their resume and on college, scholarship, and job applications!

Award Levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold

Active SkillsUSA members (students) can apply to receive a PVSA individual award. SkillsUSA Chapters may use their collective volunteer hours to apply to receive the PVSA team award. Award levels are determined by two criteria:

  1. The number of hours served
  2. Student’s reported age as detailed in the chart below.
    Note: SkillsUSA Chapter award levels are determined via the “Families / Groups / Teams” criteria in the chart below.

Awards Levels – Service Benchmark

* The age category is determined by the age the student was for at least 7 months within the calendar year. For example, if the student was 16 for seven (7) months within the year in question, that person would qualify within the 16-25 age group.  

The application deadline for the 2023-2024 year is March 31, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST. Faxed, mailed, and emailed entries will not be processed. Verified volunteer-service hours must occur in a consecutive 12-month period between January 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024.

Apply Now ButtonRequired Application Criteria:

  • Applications must be complete and include all required documentation in a legible format.
  • All applications must include proof of current SkillsUSA membership. Acceptable documents include a SkillsUSA membership card(s) or the student(s) name(s) indicated on the SkillsUSA Chapter Roster.
  • All applications must include a volunteer service log (individual award) or timesheet (chapter award) that details:
    • Each date the applicant performed volunteer service, including location of service.
    • The total number of hours for each date of volunteer service.
    • No more than fifty (50) volunteers may contribute hours towards a chapter award.
  • The application requires a letter from each organization that appears on the applicant’s service log or time sheet that verifies the applicant’s volunteer service. The letter must:
    • Be typed on the organization’s letterhead.
    • Name the applicant.
    • Include the applicant’s term of service and total hours contributed to the organization.
    • Be signed by a representative of the organization for which volunteer service was performed.
      Example: “This letter is to certify that ____________ performed ___ hours of service for Organization Name between the dates of ______ and _______.”
  • The application (both individuals and chapters) must include a Letter of Nomination from a SkillsUSA advisor, instructor, or SkillsUSA state director on organizational letterhead that affirms the student-applicant has performed the necessary volunteer hours to be considered for the PVSA.


  • Ineligible volunteer hours include hours spent meeting, driving, sleeping, or off-duty.
  • In accordance with AmeriCorps® and the Point of Light Foundation, ineligible service includes donating funds, political lobbying, religious instruction, conducting a worship service, proselytizing, court-ordered community service, service of only family members.
  • An applicant’s volunteer hours must be applied to an individual award OR a chapter award, but not both.
  • Hours served fulfilling responsibilities as a SkillsUSA local, state, or national officer are not to be included as service hours towards the PVSA.
  • SkillsUSA is both ethically and legally bound to honor the service hour and award levels as set forth by the PVSA.
  • Missing data (example: claimed volunteer hours not reflected on time sheet) or unverified data (example: nomination or verification letter on non-letterhead) may result in rejection of the application, or receipt of the PVSA at a lower award level. Only service hours that are appropriately documented and verified will be counted. Before submitting the application, ensure that all data is correct, fully documented, and verified.

If you have questions:

SkillsUSA members, advisors and state directors:
Contact Marcia Strickland at

All others interested in the PVSA should visit the PVSA website at:

2022 Recipients

The following people have qualified to receive the President’s Service Award for 2022:


Paradise Valley High School
Tej Desai
Atharva Goel
River Valley High School
Avalon Alexander
Brayden Lott
Kevin Guenther
Zachariah Morse
Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education *Chapter Award


California Virtual Academies
Lance Mathis
Columbus High School
Richard Carlos
Dinuba High School *Chapter Award
Downey High School
Alexander Ortez
Breanna Gaitan
Britney Ibarra
Caleb Verstegen
Camila Miranda
Celeste Corral
Christopher Storey
Edgar Flores
Elaine Barraza
Erick Felix, Jr.
Fidelia Rosales
Hailey Lutz
Helen Muro
Hunter Verstegen
Isabella De Lira
Karla Ramirez
Martin Poot
Melisa Martinez
Michael Vazquez
Savannah Fischer


Gwinnett Technical College *Chapter Award


Blackstone Valley Regional Technical Vocational School *Chapter Award
Blackstone Valley Regional Technical Vocational School
Hunter Claflin
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
Kayla Anastasio
Cape Cod Regional Technical Vocational School
Alyssa Bach
Etzer Lindor
Molly Cadigan
Ryan Hollis
Shannen Hardy
Sophia Dolan
Greater New Bedford Regional Technical Vocational School
Kara Koska
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute
Angelis Amaro
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute *Chapter Award
Old Colony Regional Technical Vocational School
Ariana Besse
Mary Quin
Upper Cape Technical High School
Ronan Gleason


Pinecrest Academy Cadence
Colton Maxson

New Jersey

Bergen County Academies *Chapter Award
Cumberland County Technical Education Center
Michael Deem Jr.
Somerset County Academy for Health and Medical Sciences
Daisy Dong
Jessy Dong
Sussex County Technical School
Abigail Oras

New York

Thomas A. Edison Career Technical High School *Chapter Award
Ulster Vo Tech *Chapter Award


Penta Career Center
Andres (A.J.) Ybarra, Jr.
Sentinel Career and Technology Center (Public Safety) *Chapter Award
Upper Valley Career Center
Quinci Voisard


State College Area High School
Aaron Chen
Tiffany Chen


Melissa High School
Ira Roy


Lakeview Technology Academy
Shu Lan Schaut