South Pasadena High School students shine at SkillsUSA’s National Leadership and Skills Conference – Pasadena Schools


This year, 13 SPHS students qualified and competed in various competitions at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held in June. SPHS students competed in entrepreneurship, 3D animation and visualization, outstanding chapter, pin design, computer programming and related technical mathematics. Two students, Krish Patel and Aerin Kim were also national delegates for California.

Eight students were named national finalists by placing in the top nine in their competitions. They are:

Entrepreneurship: Avik Gautam, Annalea Pearson, Isha Zafra and Oscar Cassidy
Graphic Imaging Dye Sublimation: Maya Villasenor
Outstanding Chapter: Chris Kuizon, Kiana Dettman and Cyrus Hulme

All eight national finalists, along with Ethan Xie in the related technical mathematics competition, received Skillpoint certificates. These certificates are awarded to competitors who have met or exceeded the criteria set by each industry.

The Entrepreneurship team (listed above) received a gold medal, a first for SPHS in this particular competition. The team developed a virtual water bottle business named TAZA. These student leaders also worked during the year to lead their peers in virtual enterprise competitions and fairs, making TAZA a success in both the Virtual Enterprise International program and SkillsUSA. The TAZA team placed first in the regional competition in January; first in the state competition in April; and now first in the national competition, competing against high schools across the country.

Maya Villasenor, a recent SPHS graduate, participated in Graphic Imaging Sublimation and received a Bronze Medal and $ 250 Gift Card. She placed first in the SkillsUSA California State competition this year, and also qualified last year before the competition was canceled due to Covid.

The South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) congratulates all of the competing students and their counselors, CTE teachers Sandra Matson-Fennell and Cathy Mason.

South Pasadena High School, 1401 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, (626) 441-5820 or visit

For more information contact: South Pasadena Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent, [email protected]

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