A rising star in Automotive Service Technology at Inspire Academy

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Former Valley High School and Inspire Academy student, Rayce Edmondson won a National SkillsUSA Award in Automotive Service Technology on June 23. Edmondson is a product of the Automotive Service career technical education program at Inspire Academy.

Although he graduated in May with his senior class at Valley High School, the honors keep coming for Edmondson, as he took home second place in the Automotive Service Technology Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) Contest at the 2023 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference.

The week-long national competition was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. James Winkles, CTE teacher for the Automotive Service program at Inspire Academy helps sponsor students such as Edmondson to shine on a national stage for the CCSD.

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The SkillsUSA Championships is considered the largest single day of corporate volunteerism in America and valued at $36 million in industry support of donated time, equipment, money, and material.

All contests are run by and judged by industry using industry standards for employment. More than 1,200 industry judges participated this year. The SkillsUSA Championships is for middle, high school and college-level students who are members of SkillsUSA. More than 6,000 students from all 50 states and three territories competed in 110 contests in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations this year.

To qualify for the national competition, the students compete in local, region and state contests. The state gold medal winners advanced to the national SkillsUSA Championships. As the 2nd place winner, Rayce received a silver medallion, estimated $5,000.00 in tools and prizes, $26,000.00 in scholarships which is in addition to the $50,000.00 in scholarships he won at the 2022 and 2023 Alabama State SkillsUSA Contests the past two years. A short video about the National Leadership and Skills Conference (The SkillsUSA Championships) is available online on YouTube. Congratulations to Rayce Edmondson and his family as well as Mr. Winkles on this milestone accomplishment on a national scale. Rayce is the son of Karley Nelson and Mike Parrish.