Two Carlton students advance to National Skills Competition

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Carlton students who recently competed at the Skills Canada competition in Saskatoon pose for a photo. They are: (back L to R) Dylan Silk, Alexa Masko, Jonathan Bergen, Naveah Johnson, Katelynn Tait, (front L to R) Troy Earing, Sahas Mittal, Ryan James and Ella Kirkland.

Two Carlton Comprehensive High School students have advanced to the Skills Canada National competition in Winnipeg later this month.

Ryan James and Ella Kirkland, both competed at the first in-person Skills Canada competition since 2019. It was held at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatoon on Friday, April 28.

Kirkland advanced in baking and James advanced in electrical. Kirkland said the competition wasn’t difficult, but there was some strategy.

“It was four hours and we just had to organize a lot,” she said. “There are a lot of different components to that.”

Kirkland expected a good finish, but was surprised to advance to Nationals. Although nervous at the start, she grew more confident as the competition continued.

“During (the competition) it was more stressful, but by the time we saw the end it was pretty clear that I would be placing on podium,” she said.

Despite her ability in the field, Kirkland doesn’t plan to make it a full-time career at this point.
“It will probably just be a good side hustle,” she said.

James was not surprised to advance to Nationals because of the way the situation broke down.

“I was the only one that finished and that was a pretty good indication,” he said.

The competition lasted six hours. Students has to wire a corner room with service wiring on one side and roofing studs on the other.

James said being the only one to finish was a good clue he was going to nationals. He’s excited to make the trip, since making nationals was a big goal.

“I did what I set out to do and did what I wanted to do,” he said. “I wanted to go to nationals, and I believed in myself.”

James is also not pursuing his winning category as a career at this point.

He said he wasn’t sure if he would study electrical engineering but that would come after his first year of university.

“I’m going to go to the University of Alberta for engineering,” James explained. “The first year is kind of broad and then I will specialize after my first.”

Carlton sent 12 students to the competition in seven skill areas.

Naviah Johnson and Rachel Gibson competed in Photography, where Johnson earned a bronze medal. Other competitors include Sahas Mittal, Rylan Urban, Saugat Budhathoki, and Jonathan Berger in Robotics, Kirkland in baking and Alexa Masko in cooking. James in Electrical, Troy Earing and Dylan Silk in Machining with Earing earning a silver and Katelyn Tait in Public Speaking, with Tait earning a silver medal.

The National competition is in Winnipeg runs from May 25-26.