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Aiden Torres (Lewiston-Porter) and Adam Niver (Newfane).
Aiden Torres (Lewiston-Porter) and Adam Niver (Newfane).

Gold medal web design students gear up for National SkillsUSA competition


Tue, May 21st 2024 02:40 pm

By Lisa Bielmeier

Orleans/Niagara BOCES Public Relations Director

Adam Niver (Newfane) and Aiden Torres (Lewiston-Porter) were shocked and excited to find out they had taken a gold medal in web design at the New York State SkillsUSA competition in Syracuse this month. The Niagara Career and Technical Education students are enrolled in Michelle LeFauve’s web development and game design program at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES site.

“We had to put a lot of creativity into it and did our best,” Adam said. “It was hard because we were both late because of the shuttle bus to go to the fairgrounds and the lunch line.

Aiden added, “It was very stressful. There was so much going on and the noise level was bad.”

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The mission is to empower members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens.

The web design competition consisted of teams of two who complete a series of challenges focusing on creating a website for a client and a specific target audience. The teams are judged on meeting the client’s needs, usability and accessibility, and industry-standard best practices. The teams are also evaluated on the process used to meet the challenges, and how well members work as a team.

“Honestly, in the beginning of this program, I knew nothing about coding a website,” Adam said. “I knew nothing of HTML and I had dabbled in code a little bit.”

Aiden said he knew little or nothing about building a website.

They both pointed to their teacher, Mrs. LeFauve, for the reason for their success.

“She obviously did an excellent job of teaching us, because we took first place!” Aidan said. “I think it really helped that she taught us basics like Photoshop. It is a great skill to have.”

Both students were surprised at how much they enjoyed the web development since the reason they took the class was for the game design component.

“I plan on going to college for computer science to be a video game developer,” Adam said. “But I had a lot of fun learning about web design.”

Aiden also intends to pursue game development as a career, but said it was fantastic learning web design skills that will make him more marketable.

“I think, if anyone approached me about taking this program, I would share with them how much I loved this class,” Adam said. “The main reason is that Mrs. LeFauve is an incredible teacher. I just love her to death. I will always be willing to tell anyone how great this class is and what a fantastic opportunity it was to be able to take it.”

Aidan smiled at his classmate and added an enthusiastic, “Me, too!”

As gold medalists, have they will be competing at the national level at the world’s largest gathering of America’s future skilled workforce in Atlanta at the end of June.

“We have never been out of state for something related to school before,” Adam said. “We are both feeling the pressure. We really want to do well at the competition not only for ourselves, but Mrs. LeFauve.”

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