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Special School District of St. Louis County
 
Students Stand Out on National Stage

One year ago, Bryan Broome was starting at a new school. He had completed his junior year at Eureka High School and was a first-year senior at South Technical High School.

“Bryan was on a different academic path before his senior year,” said his father Tony. “When he finished his junior year, Bryan brought up the idea of attending South Tech to attend the Automotive Technology program.”

The Automotive Technology program was full at the time, but Bryan found a spot in the Motorcycle and Small Engine Technology program instead. It turned out to be a good fit for him.

After just one year in the program Bryan went on to earn gold medals at both the state and national SkillsUSA competitions for Motorcycle Services Technology. An impressive feat for anyone, much less a one-year student.

“He was just like a sponge the way he learned things in class,” said Randy Prewitt, who teaches the Motorcycle and Small Engine Technology program at South Tech. “He’s a one-of-a-kind student.”

The two-day national competition included two written tests, an interview, and a hands-on portion where contestants had to put together an engine in two hours. Bryan assembled his in just one hour and four minutes.

Bryan now attends Ranken Technical College on a scholarship he earned due in large part to his success on the national stage. He also came home with a large collection of prizes for his gold medal, including Snap-On tools, $750 worth of Carhart clothing, Irwin Tools and numerous other scholarship offers.

But one prize literally outweighs them all—a new Harley-Davidson donated to South Tech’s motorcycle program for future students to use as a learning tool.

“We’ll be able to use it for component location,” Prewitt said. “And it will be the only bike we have that is fuel injection, so the students will be able to learn something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to learn here.”

“SkillsUSA contests are highly competitive,” said SkillsUSA Advisor and Instructional Facilitator Rosina Palmer. “The state competition has about 2,200 competing. And only the gold medal winners advance to the national competition. So it’s really just the top competitors there.”

“It was an extremely exciting contest,” Tony Broome said. “Mr. Prewitt and Mrs. Palmer were the driving forces behind all of this. They were really encouraging throughout the competitions.”

And it’s a good thing they were.

“I wasn’t going to go. I knew I could compete, but at first I just didn’t want to go,” Bryan said. “It wasn’t that I didn’t think I could compete. But I guess it’s a good thing I went. It was worth it.”

Nathan Comerio, also from South Tech, earned a silver medal in the Welding Art Sculpture contest. Along with his medal, he was awarded a new welder along with other prizes. Nathan is a senior this year and plans to attend Tulsa Welding School after graduation.

Bryan Broome and Randy Prewitt
Bryan Broome (left) and Randy Prewitt (right)


Nathan Comerio

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Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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