Linda Harlow and Terri Houtz of Elkhart High School accept the Overall Award for first place in the 2011 Xtreme Challenge from Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president; Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction; and Celeste Donovan, dean of student services. Elkhart High School students earned more points in the top rankings of the academic contests than any other school in attendance. Fourteen high schools attended with 381 high school students registered for the sixth annual Xtreme Challenge. Courtesy photo/SCCC Crusader
• Special to the Leader & Times
Fourteen high schools competed in Xtreme Challenge contests on the campus of Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Wednesday. Elkhart High School earned the Overall Award by having more students with points in the top rankings of the contests than any other school in attendance.
More than 380 students were registered for the sixth annual Xtreme Challenge competition. The academic contest encompasses 14 challenge areas, from accounting to welding.
Mindy Holder, instructor and coordinator of the Computer Information Systems program at SCCC/ATS, was the chairperson for Xtreme Challenge this year.
“My biggest thing is that I’m really excited about how many schools we had,” Holder said. “I think it’s wonderful we are getting so big.”
The growth in the size of the contest prompted moving the awards ceremony from the theater to the gym to accommodate the number of students involved.
Some academic challenges were added, including math and science as well as welding, which helped increase even more the number of students who participated.
Steven Fowler of Garden City High School competed in Xtreme Challenge for the first time this year. His favorite challenge was the video game contest. “I really liked that we were so involved,” Fowler said. “Everything was really hands-on.”
Audrey Ritter, of Elkhart High School, on the other hand, has now attended four years of Xtreme Challenges. She said her favorite challenge was the photography contest. “Everybody was so nice,” she said. “They were really helpful with everything.”
The SCCC/ATS admissions team helped with Xtreme Challenge as they introduced the hundreds of visiting high school students to the campus with tours and entertained the group during the wait for overall numbers to be tallied just prior to the awards presentations.
Director of marketing J. R. Doney and admissions coordinator Kylee Harrison, along with SCCC/ATS student ambassadors, led the students in activities such as a TicTac shake game, a fly swatter/pingpong ball race and a dance off.
Xtreme Challenge photos taken by Crusader student journalists at the college are posted under the multimedia link on CrusaderNews.com and can be seen at Facebook.com/CrusaderNews.
Dean of Student Services Celeste Donovan drew names and presented three $100 SCCC/ATS scholarships to Casey Henderson, Satanta; Justin Hearn, Elkhart; and Kelly Francis, Liberal.
Francis said she liked attending Xtreme Challenge because it gave her a chance to express talents in ways she doesn’t normally get to.
Student Alan Caro from Satanta High School was in his second Xtreme Challenge and said his favorite challenge was AutoCAD. Caro said he liked being able to interact with other people at Xtreme Challenge, but he had some trouble finding the rooms he was supposed to be in.
Activities such as scavenger hunts and tours helped students learn to better navigate the campus as they completed their challenges.
Students represented 14 high schools. Returning schools included Elkhart, Rolla, Bucklin, Tyrone, Okla., Garden City, Liberal, Forgan, Okla., Turpin, Okla., Satanta and Moscow. New to the SCCC/ATS Xtreme Challenge for 2011 were Yarbrough, Okla., Meade, Sublette and Stanton County High School.
The top 10 students in each of the individual competitions will be posted at http://scccxtremechallenge.blogspot.com.
The top three overall winners in each of the 14 categories were announced at the awards assembly following the academic challenges. Instructors in each area presented the winners with a variety prizes, such as boom boxes, Flip digital video cameras, and iPod Shuffles. • Accounting: First place, Gillian Ormord, Bucklin; second place, Donovan Torres, Rolla; third place, Charlee Pierson, Rolla.
• Agriculture: First, Dandi Thomas, Elkhart; second, Payton Fleming, Elkhart; third, Jessica Johns, Rolla.
• Art: First, Valeria Terrazas, Garden City; second, Tanner Schnurr, Elkhart; and third, Moises Guerra, Garden City.
• Business administrative technology: First, Levi Adams, Liberal; second, Steven Fowler, Garden City; and third, Stephanie Lehr, Meade.
• Computer Information Systems: First, Craig Harrington, Elkhart; second, Brendon Carter, Elkhart; third, Morgan Taylor, Rolla.
• Cosmetology: First, Rene Boaldin, Elkhart; second, Rosa Medrano, Garden City; third, Karina Barco, Yarbrough.
• Criminal justice: First, Jaron Rusch, Rolla; second, Gage Powers, Rolla; third, Chris Portillo, Liberal.
• English: First, Taylor Cameron, Rolla; second, Susie Loewen, Rolla; third, Miranda Brewer, Elkhart.
• Health information systems: First, Kaci Hall, Forgan, Okla.; second, Elizabeth Glave, Rolla; third, Rachelle Keene, Turpin.
• Journalism: First, Juana Rivero, Liberal; second, Jalen Espinoza, Elkhart; third, Efren Rivero, Liberal.
• Marketing/management: First, Tyler Lai, Tyrone; second, Casey Barrett, Rolla; third, Eric Shironaka, Stanton County High School.
• Math/science: First, Antonio Rodriguez, Liberal; second, Hiram Olinger, Rolla; third, Lauren Carter, Elkhart.
• Trade and industrial education: First, Travis Perkins, Elkhart; second, Jonathan Owens, Elkhart; third, Zachary Hendricks, Yarbrough.
• Welding: First, Louis Chavira, Elkhart, and Jose Ruiz, Elkhart; second, Zachary Hendricks, Yarbrough, Okla., and Jaime Franco, Elkhart; third, Ulises Prieto, Elkhart, and Dylan Reimer, Meade.
Wednesday marked the first time Moscow High School teacher Valerie Thompson attended an Xtreme Challenge. Her impression was that because there are so many challenges and a lot of hands-on challenges, students with varied interests are able to compete.
“You don’t just have to be the smartest kid to participate,” she said. “There’s also a lot of hands-on competition.”
Thompson almost missed the event because her email invitation went to her junk mail. But she was glad she was able to attend, especially because it was at the Seward campus. “About one-fourth of my students are planning on attending SCCC,” she said.
The college sponsored a prize drawing to recognize high school sponsors, teachers and bus drivers. Winners and the high school they represented included Mike Koehn, Meade; Andrea Jones, Stanton County High School; Juan Neri, Garden City; Amy Smith, Liberal; Stephen Hokanson Bucklin; Lynette Hill, Turpin; and Terri Houtz, Elkhart.
SCCC/ATS faculty and staff who developed and managed the Xtreme Challenge competitions included Susan Copas and Dustin Farmer for art; Janice Northerns for English; Anita Reed for journalism, Roy Hamey, welding; Steve Merz, drafting; Brian Fowler, auto; David Ingle, diesel; Butch Garst, machine tool; Brett Crow, agriculture; Denice Paden and Sheila Scheib, cosmetology; Tanya Dowell, accounting; Sherry Farrell, health information management; Cristy Mulanax, criminal justice; Kim Thomas and Gina Palmgren, business administrative technology; Marcia Hatcher and Kim Thomas, marketing management; Mindy Holder, Rusty Tuman and Janice Williams for Computer Information Systems; and Luke Dowell, Don Hayes, Bonnie Merrihew, Brad Kearn, Troy Browles and Cindy Handley for math and science.