Lanier Tech Students Shine at SkillsUSA State Competitions

February 26, 2024

Gainesville, GA— Annually, Lanier Technical College’s best and brightest compete in the Georgia Post-Secondary state SkillsUSA Competitions. During the week of February 19, 2024, competitors from around the State of Georgia met at the Georgia World Congress Center to compete in many of the high-demand career-based academic programs offered by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).

In all, Lanier Technical College had 23 students place in either the Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal categories. Their names and competitions are as follows:


Gold Medals

Student Competition Instructor
Aidan Pitt Automotive Refinishing Tech Damien Anderson
Shelby Colbaugh

Janet Penaloza

Dakota Schmidt

Career Pathways – Health Services Lilia Vargas
Ronald Filomino Collision Repair Technology Damien Anderson
Carson Loveridge Diesel Equipment Technology Lon Phillips
Catherine “Katie” Palmieri Esthetics Jackie Mann
Robert Buice Firefighting Karen Nowakowski
Austin Frazier Industrial Motor Control Luis Melendez
Cameron Elliott Marine Service Technology Hans Metz
Mariel Ocasio Medical Terminology Ericka Bongart
Shane Nicholson Robotics and Automation Luis Melendez/Chad Faircloth
Ibrahim Numanovic

Silver Medals

Student Competition Instructor
Alexander McCain Collision Damage Appraisal Damien Anderson
Kiernan Lynch Cosmetology Jayna Durden
Cooper Chastain Diesel Equipment Technology Lon Phillips
Jeffrey Monsour Marine Service Technology Hans Metz
Frances Marquez Medical Terminology Johnna Connell
Joseph De Lima Technical Drafting Jody Brookshire

Bronze Medals

Student Competition Instructor
Andrew Maya Garcia Automotive Refinishing Tech Damien Anderson
Edward Diaz Collision Damage Appraisal Damien Anderson
Jason Kollig Firefighting Karen Nowakowski
Hunter Tankersley Marine Service Technology Hans Metz


Additionally, the 2023 SkillsUSA State Officer, Janet Penaloza, welcomed the incoming 2024 SkillsUSA State Officers and Lanier Tech students, Robert Buice, Shelby Colbaugh, and Joseph De Lima.

Lanier Technical College also captured a 2024 Quality Chapter and Chapter of Distinction Gold Award for the college’s continued excellence in SkillsUSA and the chapter’s philanthropy efforts. The college is now in competition for the highest achievement in this category, the National Level Model of Excellence Award.

These gold medal recipients will compete at the National SkillsUSA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, during the week of June 24, 2024. Gold Medal recipients from the National Conference in June will be known nationally for excellence in their chosen profession.


SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible American citizens. We improve the quality of our nation’s future workforce by developing SkillsUSA Framework skills, including personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics. Our vision is to produce the most highly skilled workforce in the world, providing every member with the opportunity for career success.

About the Technical College System of Georgia
The 22 colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) are Georgia’s top resource for skilled workers. TCSG offers world-class training in more than 600 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs to students who are trained on state-of-the-art equipment by instructors who are experts in their fields. The system also houses Georgia’s Office of Adult Education, which promotes and provides adult literacy and education programs, including the GED® testing program, throughout the state. In addition, TCSG partners with companies through Quick Start, the nation’s top customized workforce training program, and through its colleges, which work with local industry to provide workforce and training solutions. For more information, visit


Lanier Technical College has a 100 percent job placement rate five out the past seven years. The College offers 50 programs of study in some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including healthcare, energy, business and industry, and public or private service.
Lanier Technical College is a Unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Lanier Technical College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC's website (
Equal opportunity institution.