By Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate
HAMBLETON – With the National SkillsUSA competition about a month away, Tucker County High School senior Amanda Harper has her oven heated as she works to perfect her baking skills. Amanda placed first in the state baking competition and will represent Tucker County and the State of West Virginia during the upcoming SkillsUSA National Competition in Louisville, Ky. in June.
This is the third year Amanda has competed in the Skills USA Competition at the state level and the second time she will represent the state of West Virginia at the National competition.
“Last year I received first place at the state level and I hope to do well at the national level,” Amanda said.
Amanda said she does not plan to go on to further education in the culinary arts. “But this will probably be my lifelong hobby – decorating cakes. I may have it as a side business.”
The national competition will be in Louisville, Ky. June 20 and she will be there five days.
“We will be traveling with a group of delegates from W.Va.,” Amanda said. “In the days leading up to the competition, we will be reviewing our candidates for national officers and taking part in electing our officers at the end of that week. We also receive leadership training while we are there.”
Amanda said the national baking competition has eight parts – decorating a cake, yeast rolls, laminated dough, croissant dough, make a pie and make a quick bread.
“I am very excited for the upcoming competition,” Amanda said. “We have contacted a few businesses looking for sponsorship but haven’t heard anything back yet. The whole trip costs about $500. We have been doing some fundraising and hope we can get some local sponsors. That could be fantastic.”
TCHS ProStart instructor Chef Carrie Shahan said she is very proud of Amanda and her accomplishments.
“This is my first year teaching and we have been doing lots of cake decorating and baking rolls,” Shahan said. “I am very proud of Amanda.”
Amanda she loves SkillsUSA. “It has done so much for me. When I was a state officer, it was the best thing I have done with my high school career. I hope once I graduate and move on, the TCHS SkillsUSA program stays big and active. When you really get into the meat of what it is all about, it can really take you places. It is so cool and I wish everyone could get into it.”
Amanda is the daughter of Harold and Kimberly Harper. Following graduation, she plans to attend Fairmont State University and study chemistry.