7 Abington/Eastern students qualify for SkillsUSA states, Upper Moreland/Eastern senior highlighted for National Women’s History Month

Abington Senior High School announced that a number of students enrolled in programs at Eastern Center for Arts & Technology in Willow Grove have been named winners of the District SkillsUSA competition.

Each of the students listed below will be moving on to the state-level competition in April, the district said.

  • Delegate – Jason Weaver – Automotive Technology
  • Chapter Display – Jane Rickards – Robotics & Automated Technology
  • Chapter Display – Sophia Steinberg – Business & Technology Professional
  • Career Pathways in Health Sciences – Nijimah Hawkins – Allied Health
  • Ad Design – Nicole Nevitt – Design, Photography, & Illustration
  • Action Skills – Greyson Stewart – Design, Photography, & Illustration
  • Career Pathways in Health Sciences- Siobhan Mooney – Allied Health

State gold medalists earn the right to compete nationally at the SkillsUSA Championships each June. Along with gold, silver and bronze medallions, competitors may earn scholarships, tools of the trade, and even job offers right off the competition floor.

In related news, Kai Fisher (pictured above), a senior at Upper Moreland High School enrolled in Eastern Center for Arts & Technology’s Construction Technology program, has been highlighted in honor of National Women’s History Month.

From their announcement:

Mr. Jeff Pakula, the Construction Technology Instructor at EASTERN, has nominated Kai for a student spotlight during National Women’s History Month, citing her exemplary work ethic, skills, and drive. “She is truly exceptional,” expressed Mr. Pakula. “Her enthusiasm for the work is evident, and she consistently excels in the class.” Reflecting on National Women’s History Month, Kai expresses gratitude for the women who have paved the way in society and leadership. “It’s a time to appreciate the collective efforts of women for each other and the community,” she emphasized.

Kai’s supportive family encouraged her decision to join the Construction Technology program. To her surprise, halfway through her first year in the program, she learned that her paternal grandfather had experience in construction—a revelation previously unknown to her. She discovered that he and his friends had constructed their family cabin by Lake Wallenpaupack in the 1960s. Her maternal grandfather is also a source of inspiration in Kai’s life, and who may have influenced her musical talent. She admires his resilience, noting, “He consistently embraces challenges and emerges from each experience with valuable insights. He has a remarkable ability to find positivity in every situation.”

At Upper Moreland High School, Kai showcases her musical talents by playing the Mellophone in the Marching Band and the trombone in the Jazz Band. Additionally, she actively participates in the school’s Pop Rock Band, which kicks off in May.

“I was excited to dive into hands-on learning and acquire a new skill at EASTERN,” Kai explained. “Carpentry genuinely interests me, so I pushed past any initial reservations. The class is great, and filled with like-minded individuals who share my passion for the field. My advice to anyone considering a program at EASTERN is to go for it! There is much to be gained from situations that may initially seem uncomfortable. While the road may be challenging, you won’t learn anything by always taking the easy route,” said Kai.

Upon completing her studies at EASTERN and Upper Moreland High School, Kai intends to pursue Interior Design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is already exploring clubs on campus related to woodworking, as it is a passion she plans to continue fostering.

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Photo: Eastern