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Elkhart Wins Extreme Challenge At SCCC/ATS

KSCB News - April 3, 2015 8:27 am

It was April Fool’s Day but that didn’t matter as more than 350 students from nine area high schools showed their savvy in the 10th annual Xtreme Challenge Wednesday at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. Campus bustled with groups of students who competed in 17 categories ranging from art to criminal justice, and math and science to transportation technology.

“You won’t find a friendlier college anywhere in the state,” emcee Brock Kappleman of KSCB radio told students as the 1:30 p.m. awards ceremony began. “There are lots of great learning institutions in Kansas, but if you want a place where you really matter to your instructors, where you are valued, this is the place to be.”

College president Dr. Duane Dunn provided a demonstration of that approach, introducing a roster of current SCCC/ATS students to the audience.

“I just want you to see that you can join at this level of excellence,” Dunn said. “We have state champions and national champions, in athletics, journalism, academics. We’re very proud of our students.”

High school students got a taste of that recognition, as 51 individual winners received medals, prizes and bragging rights from the Xtreme Challenge competitions.

Elkhart High School students rushed from their seating in the SCCC/ATS gymnasium to the awards area when Kappelman announced the school had repeated as the Overall Award winner. Elkhart, which brought 80 participants, has a long tradition of claiming top honors at Xtreme Challenge. The Overall Winner award goes to the school earning the most total points for event competitions. Meade High School and Rolla High School claimed second and third places respectively.

Xtreme Challenge organizers added a new honor for 2015 — the Excellence Award, given to the school with the highest average score for all students participating in all competitions. Meade High School, which arrived in special-to-the-event T-shirts, claimed that prize, with Liberal High School in second place and Hugoton High School third.

Other high schools at Xtreme Challenge included Moscow, Rolla and Sublette, as well as Turpin, Okla., and Balko, Okla.

Hugoton High School sponsor Paige Rawlings said she was happy to see for herself what her students have been talking about for the past few years.

“Hugoton High School has been coming to Xtreme Challenge for a while, but this is my first year to attend,” said Rawlings. “I’m really impressed. It’s a great opportunity for students to see the campus and get involved in exploring their interests.” As a business teacher, Rawlings said she has been gratified to see her students score well in their competitions.
“It validates my work in the classroom so I know I’m doing a good job,” she said.

Hugoton High School student Jorge Montoya had a similar viewpoint. As a concurrent student enrolled in auto mechanics classes at SCCC/ATS, he arrives on campus every morning. Wednesday was a little different, he said.

“It was fun to have everyone here with me,” Montoya said. “They got to see what I’m doing when I come here every day, and I got to try out some classes in diesel and auto body, which is something new for me.” Montoya plans to attend SCCC/ATS after he graduates Hugoton High School this spring.

“I have an early start since I’m already taking classes,” he said.

Rolla High School senior Janie Martinez said she too has chosen SCCC/ATS as her college destination.

“I decided way back in the fall,” she said. “I’ve been here for Xtreme Challenge, and I really like it.” Although Martinez plans to enroll in the SCCC/ATS Medical Assistant program, she decided to branch out a bit during the Challenge.

“I did the health competition but I also signed up for auto body and I was the only girl in there. I know I’m not going to win,” she said, “but I wanted to try something different.”

In the end, Martinez claimed second place in the Allied Health competition.

SCCC/ATS accounting instructor Tanya Dowell and food science and safety instructor Chris Guyer organized the 2015 contest. Within each of the 17 categories, instructors designed three separate competitions, scoring each separately. Students who earned the highest total in the three combined contests won the category.

Process Technology instructor Harold Fick said this year’s competition was even better than his first experience in 2014.

“I had a lot more participants this year — 38, when last year I just had six,” Fick said. “The students were enthusiastic and I really enjoyed them.”

Dowell has noted that Fick’s experience is in line with Xtreme Challenge history. Once program leaders get involved, they tend to stay on board.

“I do think that overall as a campus we definitely enjoy this day. Everyone continues from year to year,” Dowell said. “As a campus-wide activity, we have continued participation.”

The admissions team also helped a great deal, Dowell said, giving campus tours and providing a fun break for students with a “Win it in a Minute” games in the Student Union. SCCC/ATS student ambassadors helped with the events of the day. College students involved in clubs or programs at SCCC/ATS joined instructors and staff to manage the many campus activities for the visiting high school students.

Hugoton High School sophomores Ian Pomeroy and Logan Mangles said they had the most fun during their competition in Computer Information Systems.

“I already do Python programming, and this was a good learning experience just to see how robotics and Photoshop all work together,” said Pomeroy, an avid gamer and fledgling game designer. “From what I’ve seen today, I’m definitely interested in getting my associate degree here. SCCC has the best assortment of classes in the community colleges in this area.”

Fellow computer fan Mangles, who plans to pursue a law career, said he also intends to take advantage of opportunities close to home.

“I want to enroll in summer sessions to get college algebra and maybe some science taken care of,” he said. “This is a great way to get ahead.”

Mangles did just that on Wednesday, taking top honors in the Computer Information Systems competition.

Crusader student journalists recorded many of the activities of the day and posted photos on

At the awards assembly, Kappelmann announced the top three winners in each academic area. SCCC/ATS Industrial Technology students designed and produced the Xtreme Challenge medals for 2015, presented to each top three winner by Seward instructors from their respective divisions.

In a drawing from students registered for Xtreme Challenge, two students each won a $500 scholarship to SCCC/ATS: Melissa Sanchez of Elkhart and Ana Pena of Hugoton.

• Allied Health: First, Cristine Garcia, Liberal; second, Janie Martinez, Rolla; third, Annie Mills, Balko.

• Art: First, Annalynn Kirkhart, Turpin; second, Riley Saucedo, Meade; third, Star Bayer, Liberal.

• English: First, Larisa Hernandez, Hugoton; second, Chandler Huddleston, Rolla; third, Grace Hollingsworth, Elkhart.

• Journalism: First, Shelby Cline, Elkhart; second, Mark Persinger, Hugoton; third, Tai Bush, Elkhart.

• Drama: First, Gary Norton, Rolla; second, Marshall Witcher, Elkhart; third, Logan Meek, Elkhart.

• Drafting and Design: First, Jesse Garetson, Sublette; second, Jarod Gertson, Sublette; third, Andy McIntire, Sublette.

• Physical education: Top Boy, Ulises Armendariz, Huguton; Top Girl, Camryn Slatten, Liberal; Top Test, Preston Bashford, Elkhart .

• Transportation: First, Emmanuel Valles, Hugoton; second, Aden Miller, Meade; third, Bryton Coen, Elkhart.

• Welding: First, Jordan Schwindt, Rolla; second, Brett Pietz, Rolla; third, Tater Simpson, Elkhart.

• Agriculture: First, Coleman Kirby, Rolla; second, Reagan Schlactermeier, Meade; third, Walker Clawson, Meade.

• Cosmetology: First, Keyah Richardson, Elkhart; second, Morgan Sanchez, Elkhart; third, Riley Sosa, Hugoton.

• Criminal justice: First, Tanner Burnett, Elkhart; second, Tracy Peitz, Rolla; and third, Ty Dixon, Rolla.

• Business: First, Teagan Simmons, Rolla; second, Kenysha Green, Rolla; and third, Rainna Reimer, Meade.

• Marketing and management: First, Katie Murray, Rolla; second, Vance Thompson, Moscow; third, Katie Weaver, Hugoton.

• Computer Information Systems: First, Logan Mangle, Hugoton ; second, Tristan Wright, Elkhart ; third, Sean Terhune, Meade.

• Math and Science: First, Jagger Borth, Meade; second, Sarah Johnson, Hugoton; third, Monica Bustillos, Hugoton.

• Process Technology: First, Austin Nordyke, Hugoton; second, Daniel Pivaral, Liberal; third, Tyler Skienar, Elkhart.

SCCC/ATS faculty and staff who developed and managed the Xtreme Challenge competitions included Susan Copas and Dustin Farmer, art; Janice Northerns, English; Anita Reed, journalism; Gloria Goodwin, drama; Alli Lyon and Liz Nosbisch, physical education; Carmen Sumner, Veda King, Jamie Titus and Amy Sager, Allied Health; in Transportation Technology, David Hormig, Greg Unger, George McNitt, Chris Russom, Ryan Grubbs, Bree Downs and Randall Levings, transportation technology; Steve Merz, drafting; Harold Fick, Process Technology;and Butch Garst, Machine Tool Technology, for the manufacturing category; John Massey, welding; David Coltrain, agriculture; Denice Paden, Amanda Schwab and Sheila Scheib, cosmetology; Cristy Mulanax, criminal justice; Hiran Gunasekara and Sherry Farrell, business; Lisa Kennedy, marketing and management; Luke Dowell, Darrin Hook, Don Hayes and Heather Hannah, math and science; and Mindy Holder and Rusty Tuman, Computer Information Systems.


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