More than 60 middle and high school students and teachers from 16 schools represented Kentucky during the 2022 Technology Student Association (TSA) National Conference held in Grapevine, Tex., and several brought home awards. “The TSA National Conference is held in various locations around the United States each year and we are thrilled to announce the 2023 TSA National Conference will be held in Louisville, KY June 28th – July 2nd,” said Mark Harrell Kentucky TSA State Advisor.

TSA is a national career and technical student organization that supports students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is the only career and technical student organization aligned to engineering, information technology, and computer science career pathways in Kentucky. Students learn through competitive events, leadership opportunities, community service, and other activities.

During the national conference students had opportunities to attend leadership and employability workshops as well as network with fellow students from across the nation and abroad. More than 5,500 students competed in more than 70 STEM-related competitions such as computer aided design, coding, engineering design, forensic technology, and technology bowl during the four-day national conference.

“Kentucky continues to have an increased need for STEM professionals and TSA is creating the talent pool needed for Kentucky to stay competitive,” said Kentucky TSA State Advisor Mark Harrell. “While winning awards is great, the networking and leadership opportunities TSA offers are equally as important to help create the future STEM workforce in Kentucky. Students learn what it takes to succeed in the career world and are exposed to employability skills needed in today’s workforce.”

In addition to the student awards, JR Dakin from Glasgow High School, was named Kentucky High School Chapter Advisor of the Year and Sherry Curtsinger, Eminence Middle School, was named Kentucky Middle School Chapter Advisor of the Year. Additionally, Kentucky TSA was honored with an award in recognition of the state with the highest high school membership growth in the nation.

“The Office of Career and Technical Education is very proud of Kentucky TSA for being nationally recognized with the highest high school membership growth in the nation,” said Beth Hargis Associate Commissioner with the Kentucky Department of Education. “Also, congratulations to state advisor Mark Harrell, state coordinator Andy Stephenson, and all of the advisors and students on their accomplishments this year.”

TSA’s membership includes more than 260,000 middle and high school students in approximately 2,000 schools across 48 states and several countries. It is open to students enrolled in or who have participated in STEM middle/high school courses.

“The diversity of activities offers the potential for growth of every member,” said Kentucky TSA State Coordinator Andy Stephenson. “From engineers to business managers, alumni credit TSA with a positive influence on their lives and their decision to pursue STEM careers.”

Award winners include:

  • Faith Ann Davis – Southern Middle School (Fayette County), 1st place, Career Prep-Middle School and Prepared Speech-Middle School;
  • Maddy Berrong, Landon Curtsinger, Sean Fleece, Caitlyn Lokits, Joey Reed and Connor Yenshaw – Eminence Middle School (Eminence Independent), 5th place, Chapter Team-Middle School;
  • Emma Baber, Brystolyn French, Haley Harrison and Natalie Loreant – Fort Campbell (DoDEA), 2nd place, Junior Solar Sprint-Middle School;
  • Aubrey Mangione, Gavin Short and Logan Wang – Southern Middle School, 8th place, Mechanical Engineering-Middle School;
  • Landon Curtsinger, Joey Reed and Connor Yenshaw – Eminence Middle School, 5th place, System Control Technology-Middle School;
  • Jackson Hatfield, Wyatt Poynter and Logan Wang Southern Middle School, 10th place, Tech Bowl-Middle School;
  • Wyatt Poynter, Gavin Short and Logan Wang – Southern Middle School, 9th place, Website Design-Middle School;
  • Morgan Hedrick and Michelle Hundley – Bardstown High School (Bardstown Indpendent), 10th place, Children’s Stories-High School;
  • Caden Schroeder – Highlands High School (Fort Thomas Independent), 10th place, Dragster Design-High School;
  • Ellen Fei – Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Fayette County), 8th place, Essays on Technology-High School; and 
  • Benjamin Weber Horowitz – Campbell County High School, 9th place, Music Production-High School.