DACC Students Excel In State Competition

Doña Ana Community College (DACC) students competed against students from other New Mexico community colleges in their technical areas and more than doubled their gold medal count from 2018.


DACC also earned more silver and equaled their bronze medal take, compared to last year, at the recently completed New Mexico SkillsUSA competitions held in Albuquerque on April 8-9 and in Las Cruces on March 15. Two high school students who attend DACC also won their competitions.


Earning gold medals were:


Leslie Sydow & Daniel Kerr, Cyber Security Team

Robin Banegas, Computer Programming

James Chambers, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Alan Pansegrau, Electronics

Isaiah Silva, Information Technology Services

Vivian Allen Information Technology Services (High School)

Brenton Candelaria, Internetworking (High School)

Shannon Smith, Internetworking

James Chambers, Job Interview

Anthony Garretson, Job Skill Demonstration

Rodolfo Ruacho, Medical Terminology

Ruby Villalobos, Nurse Assisting

Nancy Villalobos, Prepared Speech

Nancy Villalobos, Related Technical Math

Rion Osborne, Technical Computer Applications


The 15 gold medalists will join the 6,000 students from across the nation who qualified to compete at nationals by winning their state competitions. The national competition will be held June 24-29 in Louisville, Kentucky.


The DACC gold medalists have started a crowd funding site with the help of the NMSU Foundation to help defray expenses for the trip. Any amount helps. To donate please go to: https://mas.nmsu.edu/project/14046?utm_source=scalefunder&utm_campaign=amb_share&utm_name=8gkboj7bpuyr4wiz9hbt695&utm_medium=plain


Taking home silver medals were:


Scott Caretto & Jennifer Allen, Cyber Security Team

Michael Lundmark, Computer Programming

Turner Ashby, Electronics

Daniel Kerr, Extemporaneous Speech

Brenton Candelaria, Extemporaneous Speech (High School)

Scott Caretto, Job Skill Demonstration

Simon Sanchez, Technical Computer Applications


Taking home the bronze medals were:


Alexandria Ackerman, Cyber Security

Joshua Boehms, Computer Programming

Javier Alvarez, Electronics

Rodolfo Ruacho, Extemporaneous Speech

Anthony Garretson, Technical Computer Applications

“We are proud of all the students who competed,” said Saundra Castillo, DACC Division Dean of Advanced Technologies. “The state and the national competitions are important for our students to develop their leadership skills and test their technical knowledge and competency.”


All competitions were judged by professionals in the various fields.


The mission of SkillsUSA is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. SkillsUSA improves the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training. SkillsUSA enhances the lives and careers of students, instructors and industry representatives as they strive to be champions at work.

Photo Daniel Kerr part of the cyber security team heading to Kentucky