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TSA Nationals 2023

Clay TSA Teams Shine at National Competition

     The Clay County Middle and High School TSA teams recently traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the National Technology Student Association Competition.  They earned the right to compete at nationals based upon their success at the WV State Competition held in March.  Clay Middle came home with a third-place victory and a semifinalist distinction, while Clay High earned a top ten finalist honor and a top twenty-four semi-finalist spot.

At Nationals, more than 7,000 students competed in over 70 events.  Thirty-eight states were represented, and students came from as far away as Germany to compete.  The conference theme, A Legacy of Innovation, aligned with TSA’s intra-curricular activities, competitions, and other programs that provide student members with opportunities for personal and leadership development, as well as enhanced education and career exposure in science, technology engineering and mathematics.

For Clay Middle, eighth graders Ariel Dobbins and Juliann Gallaher won third place in the nation in STEM Animation, following up their championship win last year.  In this event, participants use computer graphics tools and design processes to communicate, inform, analyze, and/or illustrate a topic, idea, subject, or concept that focuses on science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, or some combination thereof.  The theme for the event was “The Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars: Patterns of Apparent Motion.” They were tasked to define and describe apparent motion, apply it to the celestial bodies, and explain why the concept in astronomy is important today, all in the form of animation.  Upon reaching the semi-finals based upon their animation and document portfolio, they presented their creation and were interviewed by contest judges.  Impressively, Dobbins and Gallaher also reached the semifinals, the top 12 in the nation, in Challenging Technology Issues.

For the high school, Hunter Evans, Ilyauna Evans and Cadence Williams were top 10 finalists in System Control Technology, and Jaxon Brown was a top twenty-four semifinalist in Data Science and Analytics.

Moreover, CCHS students Taylor Adkins, Holt Dawson, Dylan McCumbers, Maddy Paxton, and Morgan Payton, and CCMS students Ariel Dobbins and Juliann Gallaher, were recognized as members of the Technology Honor Society.

Jessica Ramsey is the TSA Chapter Advisor for the middle school and high school.  She works tirelessly to help students prepare for their events, keeping them updated with contest rules and regulations, of which there are many, and staying after school throughout the year to supervise and advise while they work on their projects.  She is also the chief TSA fundraiser, and she coordinates everything associated with trips to Cedar Lakes, WV each March for States, and to nationals in June.  Her hard work and dedication are appreciated and do not go unnoticed.

Ramsey is the first person, however, to point out all the help she receives from the community.  She wants to sincerely thank the many businesses and individuals who support TSA and helped with the trip to Louisville for the national conference.  They include CMI2, K&N Contracting, Inc., WV Paving, Inc., David Dobson, Cunningham Motors, Billy Deems and Ambassador Contracting, Brian Moore, Ferrebee Autobody, Maysel Community Church, Jack Bernardo, Clay Recycling, Ashley Rapp, Judy Scott, Amber Willis and Tammy Wilmoth.  Many friends and family also donated money, time and baked goods to support the teams’ effort.  She wishes to thank all the individuals and businesses who helped make the teams’ fundraisers a success by purchasing pool concessions, pepperoni rolls, baked potatoes, salsa and cookies.  Additionally, a special thank you goes to the chaperones who worked tirelessly to help keep the kids safe while at the national conference - April Dawson, Philip Dobbins, Lindsay Schoolcraft, Beth Gallaher, Clare Dawson, and Barry Payton – and to the parents who traveled to Kentucky to support the kids.  Finally, she wants to thank the county and school administrators for seeing the good that is the TSA program and for supporting the students and cheering on their successes.  She is extremely appreciative of all the support the teams have received this year and every year.  We could not do it without you!

Congratulations to Ms. Ramsey and her TSA teams.  They represent the county well!