Looper Leads CV Tech Chapter Business Team to National Gold Medal

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The six-member Chapter Business Procedures team at CV Tech’s El Reno Campus captured the school’s second straight such national gold medal in this category. Team members are (back row, from left) Justin Hames, Dakota Wright, Rylee Looper, and (front row, from left) Tabitha Babione, Paige Levesque and Gavin Clodfelter.

EL RENO – Words that sound alike can be confusing. Homophones, such as “medal” and “metal” become further perplexing since one can be produced from the other.

Rylee Looper enrolled last year in Canadian Valley Technology Center’s welding program never expecting to also receive a refresher course in English.

Looper, 19, of Bethany, knew he would learn how to fuse “metals,” such as aluminum, steel and copper. He never figured that gold would also factor into his education.

Gold is a metal in its natural state. It can be fashioned into a “medal” for uses such as an award, for instance.

Looper was chosen to lead a six-member team of adult students who are enrolled in a variety of CV Tech programs. Chapter Business Procedures is the team category. It requires each team to become experts on Robert’s Rules of Order, which is the recognized rules standard for running orderly meetings. It was first published in 1876.

CV Tech’s Chapter Business team won the state SkillsUSA contest last spring. The victory qualified the team for the recent national SkillsUSA contest in Louisville, Ky. There, the team was awarded a national gold medal along with the recognition as the very best in the U.S.

Team members and two other CV Tech students won national gold medals this summer. A dozen other CV Tech students were national runners-up, and five more placed third overall in the nation.

CV Tech has now won back-to-back national golds in the adult division of Chapter Business Procedures. SkillsUSA is one of four student organizations linked with CV Tech’s full-time programs that offer students opportunities for enrichment and the potential to display what they have learned at regional, state and national contests.

“It really does feel pretty good,” said Looper of the gold medal effort. “It was a weird rush winning state and standing before everybody. At nationals, it was even better up on stage in front of so many people and winning medals.”

Looper, a 2018 graduate of Rush Springs High School, said he regrets not having enrolled in CV Tech’s welding program while he was still in school. Looper found out he could still attend tuition-free using CV Tech’s Next Step Scholarship since he lives in the district, is under age 24 and has a diploma.

Still, he was certified recently in shielded metal arc welding (more commonly known as stick welding). He is working for an area welding company but plans to return to CV Tech to complete his welding education and hopefully compete again.

“I want to learn TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding,” he said. “But I also want to be on the team again and see if we can win three in a row at nationals.”

Then, he hopes to find a good job and enjoy a career as a welder. Median pay for the class of workers known as welders, cutters, solderers and brazers is $20 per hour, or roughly $41,000 per year, according to information supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Looper said he knows specialized welders and those who operate their own small business can earn two to three times that amount.

Looper was joined on the six-member adult winning team by fellow Bethany resident Dakota Wright, Tabitha Babione, of Minco, and Gavin Clodfelter, Paige Levesque, and Justin Hames, all of Yukon.

Other national gold medal winners were Kaitlyn Hall, of Mustang, and Rachel Burton, of Lindsay, who both competed in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) contest.

2019 National Contest Results
FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America)

National Runner-Up – Silver medal
2. Kandice Roberts, Chickasha, Entrepreneurship
2. Lindsey Dick, Yukon; Mariah Acuna, Yukon, Environmental Ambassador
2. Havynne Jones, Yukon; Shaelee Baldwin, Yukon; Kati Davis, Yukon, Interpersonal Communication
Third Place – Bronze medal
3. Amy Russell, Chickasha; Jason England, Alex, Focus on Children
3. Deja Stubbs, Chickasha, Teach & Train
3. Alyssa Bowen, Yukon; Madison Brungardt, Geary, Early Childhood

HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America)

National Champions – Gold medal
1. Kaitlyn Hall, Mustang, Extemporaneous Writing, adult
1. Rachel Burton, Lindsay, Pharmacology, adult
National Runner-Up – Silver medal
5. Josh House, Yukon, Summer Lance, Piedmont, Tori Dodson, Yukon, Biomedical Debate team, adult


National Champions – Gold medal
1. Gavin Clodfelter, Yukon, Paige Levesque, Yukon, Rylee Looper, Bethany, Dakota Wright, Bethany, Justin Hames, Yukon, Tabitha Babione, Minco, Post-Secondary Chapter Business Procedures.
National Runner-Up – Silver medal
2. Jacob Brickey, OKC, and Gavin Girard, El Reno, Community Action Project, adult
2. Courd Brown, Bethany, CNC Turning Specialist


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