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Cherokee HS Students Advance to National Career Skills Competition

Posted On: Monday, March 21, 2022

CCSD Cherokee HS Careers 3 21 22

From left to right, front row: Haley Kelly, Layne Johnson, Sarah Maloney, Greer Unterreiner, Aerianna Avrit, teacher Dianne Argonis-Basto, Assistant Principal Connie Ard; back row: teacher Darryl Jones, Marco Portillo, Jorge Garcia, Cole Jackson, Carter Goodrow, Michael Pugachow, Braydan Iovino, Brendan Spencer, Kaden Luther.  Not pictured: Stella Starosciak and Nelly Lucas.


Cherokee County School District students have earned top honors in a statewide career skills competition!

A team of Cherokee High School students placed in welding and healthcare science events at the Georgia Skills USA competition, with students advancing to nationals for welding fabrication.

“We’re incredibly proud of these outstanding students and their dedication to skilled professions, and we wish them great success at nationals,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “Career education is an important service all of our high schools provide to our students.  These skills benefit students whether they’re pursuing university or technical college degrees or entering the workforce or military.  Congratulations also to the excellent career education teachers who guided these students to success.”

The Cherokee High School welding fabrication team is made up of Carter Goodrow, Brayden Iovino, Cole Jackson and Michael Pugachow and coached by welding teacher Darryl Jones.  The team earned first place at state in its contest and qualified for the national Skills USA competition to be held this summer.  During the Cherokee County Educational Foundation’s recent Celebration of Education Gala, business and community leaders were called upon to sponsor the $1,000 cost for each of the students to attend nationals, and audience members stepped up to cover those costs.  

Welding students Marco Portillo and Stella Starosciak earned second place in the metals display competition for a handmade table, and that table was donated and auctioned off as part of the Foundation’s Gala. 

The school’s healthcare science program also earned state honors.  Aerianna Avrit earned first place in the nursing assistant contest at the Georgia Skills USA competition, and Haley Kelley won first place in basic healthcare.  They are coached by healthcare science teacher Dianne Argonis-Basto.

The students will be honored by the Cherokee County School Board and Dr. Hightower at the April School Board meeting.

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