Eight Newport AOIT Students Receive Medals from SkillsUSA

On Tuesday evening, April 4th, SkillsUSA Rhode Island held its 41st Annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony in Providence.  During this event, eight students from the Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) program of the Newport Area Career and Technical Center earned medals.

The AOIT program has been a highly successful career and college pathway since 2001.  Over seven consecutive years (from 2009-2015), the program sent students to the national competitions of SkillsUSA.  All seven gold medalists were in the field of Technical Computer Applications.  This year, 3 more students, Elizabeth (Eliza Taylor), Emma Daigneault and Cynthia Rodrigues will travel to Louisville, Kentucky at the end of June to compete in the national competitions.

During the month of March, AOIT students delivered five medal-earning efforts in the statewide SkillsUSA competition.  In the field of Technical Computer Applications, the gold medal was earned by Rogers sophomore Eliza Taylor.  The silver medal in this competition went to junior Emma Porter, who also earned the silver medal in this competition last year.

In the field of Web Design, three teams of AOIT students swept the competition for the first time in the program’s history.  Earning the gold medal was the team of Emma Daigneault and Cynthia Rodrigues, both sophomores.  The silver medal went to the team of Edward Phelps (junior) and Benjamin Pratt (sophomore).  Finally, the bronze medal (which was won in the previous two years by senior Ashley Bronk) went to the junior team of Phoebe Elliot and Katie Tejada.

Past national competitors have gone on to study at Brown, Harvard, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  Another former gold medalist is currently serving in the U. S. Army Reserves. The AOIT program has prepared its students for further study at such stellar universities as Yale, Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Northeastern, Boston College, and Boston University as well as many other excellent schools.

Also of note, many AOIT graduates have been inspired to pursue a degree in computer science, or a related field, as a result of their participation in the program.  In fact, the capstone course of AP Computer Science was added to the course offerings at Rogers High School last year in order to encourage further preparedness and study in this field, which is in such high demand. Teacher, Monica Awde, reports that exposure, inspiration and opportunity are primary objectives of the program.

Photo (from left to right): Ben Pratt, Cynthia Rodrigues, Emma Daigneault, Katie Tejada, Edward Phelps, Phoebe Elliot, Eliza Taylor, Emma Porter