Cooper Leabo, 17, a student at Summit Technology Academy, captured a first-place gold medal in the SkillsUSA national championship competition in Internetworking event.
National winners were announced June 27 at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference awards ceremony. The conference was held June 23-27 at the Municipal Auditorium, the Kemper Arena, H. Roe Bartle Hall, the downtown Marriott and the downtown Crowne Plaza in Kansas City. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students joined in the excitement of hands‑on competition in 99 different trade, technical and leadership fields.
“I am thankful that my networking class at Summit Technology Academy prepared me so well for the competition,” Cooper said.
Cooper is a 2014-15 senior attending Summit Technology Academy and Lee’s Summit West High School. He is employed by Cerner Corporation as part of the Missouri Innovation Campus program.
“We are very proud of Cooper’s accomplishments,” said Eric Walters, Cooper’s advisor at Summit Tech. “He is a true champion because of his dedication to learning the most he can in a highly technical field.”
Cooper’s networking instructors at Summit Technology Academy are Jeff Banhart and Lisa Oyler.
In addition to Cooper’s national award at the SkillsUSA competition, two Summit Technology Academy students tied for first place in the event’s Showcase for Additive Manufacturing Technology. The showcase was a proposed 3D printing competition. STA students winning this award were Kevin Balch and Zack Warfield, both from Raytown School District.
The SkillsUSA contests are planned by technical committees made up of representatives of labor and management and are designed to test the skills needed for a successful entry‑level performance in given occupational fields. Safety practices and procedures – an area of great concern to labor and management alike – are judged and graded and constitute a portion of a contestant’s score. A short video about the National Leadership and Skills Conference is available online at http://www.skillsusa.org/events/nlsc.shtml.
The Internetworking contest consists of three main parts — networking design, general networking knowledge and hands-on evaluations. The networking design problem tests a contestant’s ability to design functionality, scalability, adaptability and manageability of an internetworking system. The online written portion tests the student’s complete knowledge of internetworking concepts. The hands-on component demonstrates the abilities of the contestant to make cables, trouble shoot network systems, configure routers and switches and to deliver customer service in a technical assistant center environment.
The contestants will find errors in WAN and LAN networks; do an ISP configuration using routers and switches; talk a technician through an error they are having on their network; and take an online, certification-type test. The national contest is based on the most current CCNA certification. In today’s job market, system administration skills are needed. Therefore, the following server skills are scored: installation of DNS, creation of a record and installation of active directory services and DHCP. The contestant must also have knowledge to create user and group accounts on Windows server 2008.
For more information, visit www.SkillsUSA.org.