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Williamston High student qualifies for KC
May 2005

(WILLIAMSTON, NC) - William "B.J." Copeland is going places this summer - Kansas City, to be specific. He won the North Carolina Computer Maintenance competition at the 40th annual SkillsUSA state conference in Greensboro in April.

B.J. Copeland of Williamston High is this year's state SkillsUSA Computer Maintenance winner for North Carolina. Next stop: Kansas City.

B.J. competed against 32 other participants from schools around the state. The scope of the contest consisted of a written test and several hands on stations setup with various problems that had to be diagnosed and repaired.

Second place went to Jared Bowman of West Johnston, while Phillip Perry of Pinckney Academy placed third. Matthew Park of Chapel Hill High and Robert Bennett of N.F. Woods Technical Center rounded out the top five.

Martin County teacher Charles Thorne is thrilled with Copeland's success and looking forward to Kansas City.

"This is the first 'skills' contest that our SkillsUSA group has won since I have been instructor," says Thorne, a leader in the state SkillsUSA organization. "We have won some of the leadership contests, but no skills contests. That makes this even more special."

B.J. has been a part of the Martin County TechForce and SkillsUSA since he was a freshman. He built computers for the NCTelecenter and other projects. He has completed both the CET 1, CET 2 and NET 1 classes.

He plans to take the NET 2 classes next year and to do an apprenticeship. He has also participated in several of the community service projects the two groups did, including the Senior Center computer lab and the ENTEC lab at both the NCTelecenter and Raleigh locations.

"B.J. competed in this event last year and placed 6th," says Thorne. "He told me that if he went back this year he would win. Well, he kept his word."

B.J. will now go to SkillsUSA national conference in Kansas City this summer to compete against schools from across the country. We wish him lots of luck!

Thanks to Charles Thorne for sharing the information about B.J.!

For more information, contact Robin Fred via e-mail at or call him at 888.507.3800.

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