NTU Culinary Arts major Dexter Dale of Twin Lakes, NM raises his arms on the SkillsUSA podium after taking gold at the 51st Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Dale received a gold medal in the Restaurant Service category.
Navajo Technical University wins medals eleven across three categories
LOUISVILLE – A year after taking second in the Restaurant Service division of the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, Navajo Technical University (NTU) Culinary Arts major Dexter Dale of Twin Lakes, New Mexico returned to win gold in Louisville, Kentucky, June 25-26, 2015.
To earn his medal, Dale had to set a table for three guests; present, pour and serve wine in the correct manner; cook an omelet with three ingredients; host a meal for a dinner party; and take two written exams. The first exam was based on leadership knowledge and the second was in regards to front of the house service knowledge.
“There are no words to explain the excitement I was feeling,” said Dale, who outlasted Leslie Campbell of College of Southern Idaho to take the gold. “I was in a daze. I had hit a milestone in my life and I did something wonderful for the Navajo People. It was great. I made my chefs proud.”
In his first taste of the national competition in Kansas City last year, Dale fell just short of a gold medal after being edged out by Leonela Montas of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY. Though he fell short with the silver medal, the experience proved beneficial and motivated Dale to return for redemption.
“I want to be someone the other kids can look up to,” explained Dale, who was awarded a full scholarship to the CIA in New York after winning the competition. “A lot of our children come from broken homes, alcoholism and abuse. I want them to know you can accomplish whatever you want, no matter what you been through.”
HealthBowl.jpg: NTU’s Health Knowledge Bowl team poses with NTU President Dr. Elmer J. Guy after receiving a bronze medal at the 51st Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference. Pictured (l-r) include: Jessica Greyeyes, Jenibah McGregor, President Dr. Elmer J. Guy, Gwendolyn Yonnie and D’Ayn DeGroat.
NTU competed in 19 different categories at the SkillsUSA’s annual national conference and received a silver and bronze medal in addition to Dale’s gold – which was NTU’s third gold national medal since 2011. Receiving silver for NTU in the category of Career Pathways – Business, Management and Technology was the team of Accounting majors DeeAnna James, Virlencia Begay and Raderick Brown. In route to their medal, the group had to use their course of study as a basis of a project that would benefit their class, school, community and/or industry.
The team’s project involved providing personal tax services to welfare recipients, low-income individuals and elderly who don’t speak English. The project was presented with a wooden framed poster board and a video acting out the tax preparation process.
Also medaling for NTU at the SkillsUSA National Conference was the team of D’Ayn DeGroat, Gwendolyn Yonnie, Jessica Greyeyes and Jenibah McGregor in the Health Knowledge Bowl. For the competition the team had to compete against nine other teams enduring four rounds of questions that covered health-based topics such as generic drug names, diseases and medical math.
“When it finally came up, we were stoked,” explained Gwendolyn Yonnie, whose team was unsure of how they’d finished but felt good of the possibility. “It was an explosion of craziness from us, all of the NTU students, and fellow New Mexico participants.”
Other NTU students who competed in Kansas City included: Lisa Begay in Medical Math; Benjamin Bennett in Carpentry; Marell Charley in Early Childhood Education; Kurt Benally in Health Occupations Professional Portfolio; Tyler Williams, Rotasha Nez, Jean Marie Holgate and Levi Draper in Entrepreneurship; Vanessa Lee in First Aid/CPR; Olivia Gorman Brown in Medical Terminology; Bekki Curley in Prepared Speech; Sirius Eraicho and Adrianne Tenequer in Job Skill Demo; Lamont James in Computer Maintenance; Orlynda Jodie in Job Interview; Brenda Joe in Customer Service; Leandrea Johnson in Nursing Assisting; Calvin Price, Cisco Jesus, Klayton Clark and Cyrus Coan in Teamworks; Vernon Kaye and Lester Emerson in Additive Manufacturing Demo; and Wade Shannah and Shawn Tsosie in Digital Cinema.
The success NTU experienced at the national stage was something that the competitors prided themselves in, but left more to be desired for next year. “Student next year have big shoes to fill, especially my little brother and sister,” explained Dale. “We put the Navajo Nation on the map.”