(Altoona, PA): Callie Dunmire, a student who completed the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center (GACTC) Visual Arts Technologies program in 2021, recently placed fifth in a national SkillsUSA Championships in the category of Advertising Design. The competition took place at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, which was held virtually from June 14-24.

Callie Dunmire

Callie Dunmire, student from Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center, and SkillsUSA competitor

SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization serving more than 395,000 members every year enrolled in trade, technical, and skilled service training programs across the country. The annual SkillsUSA Championships features 107 hands-on skill and leadership competitions.

Dunmire was named the top GACTC student at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School, and spoke movingly of her experience with technical education at the school’s June 3 graduation ceremony.

“I do not know what I would be doing with my life after this day if not for the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center. Before joining the Visual Arts class at the GACTC, I had no clue what I wanted to do,” Dunmire said. “Besides drawing I had no extraordinary talent, and I didn’t know how to make a living out of it. I was never the kind of student to sit and listen to a lecture – I wanted to learn by doing. I, like many others, learn best through hands-on teaching, and the GACTC provides just that.”

To qualify for the national competition, Dunmire first had to compete at district and state levels. Her entry won the SkillsUSA District competition in January 2021, and the state competition in April.

“Callie took advantage of every opportunity SkillsUSA provided. She saw the national competition as the pinnacle, and nothing was going to stop her from climbing to the top – not even COVID,” said Dodie Amigh, SkillsUSA Advisor at the GACTC. “I am blown away when a student reaches the top ten in the nation; this talented young lady earned fifth in the United States. We are so incredibly proud of her performance and perseverance.”

Dunmire also spoke about SkillsUSA during her graduation speech.

“SkillsUSA empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible American citizens improving the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce through the development of personal, workplace, and technical skills rather than academics,” she said.

Dunmire plans to continue her education in the Graphic Arts program at South Hills School of Business & Technology in State College.

For more information about the GACTC, please call 814-941-TECH or visit GACTC.edu.

About GACTC:

Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center, located at 1500 4th Avenue, Altoona, provides high school students and adult learners a superior career and technical education consistent with accepted academic and skill standards. GACTC has institutional accreditation through the Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Press Contact:

Nicole Zernick

Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center