MHS Students Compete at the Mid-Maine Technical Center’s Local Skills Championships

by Colin Hickey

Messalonskee senior Roslin Desiderio points to a disappointing experience at last year’s SkillsUSA Maine Championships as the key to her gold medal at the recent Mid-Maine Technical Center’s Local Skills Championships.

Desiderio, who teamed with Waterville Senior High School student Lucas Pelotte, captured first in the Television (Video) Production competition. (She also won a silver medal in digital photography.)

She was one of seven Messalonskee High School students to take home a gold medal from the event. Dan Henderson (Automotive Tool ID), Parker Brunelle (Cabinet Making), Ryan Plante (Collision Repair Technology), Nick Alexander (Digital Photography), T.J. Petrillo (Mobile Robotics), and Dan Miller (Precision Machining) also emerged as champions.

For Desiderio, the victory was a repeat performance. A year ago, in her first time competing in the Local Skills Championships, Desiderio teamed with Messalonskee classmate Molly Milligan to win first in the Television (Video) Production. Desiderio found the experience thrilling and rewarding. “Skills is probably one of my favorite parts of going to MMTC,” she said, “because you can see your progress.”

By winning the Local Skills competition, Desiderio and Milligan qualified for the state meet – the SkillsUSA Maine Championships. And that’s where Desiderio ran into trouble of her own making.

The problem, she admitted, is that she and Mulligan approached the challenge they encountered with the wrong attitude. Their task was to make a promotional video for Bangor Restore, a nonprofit furniture store modeled after the Goodwill Store. Desiderio said she and Milligan found the subject uninspiring, and what they produced, Desiderio made clear, reflected their lack of enthusiasm and placed them well out of the running for any medal. “Molly and I both being first year students, we were not being as creative as we should have been,” she said.

But the experience proved invaluable in terms of learning. The disappointing finish, Desiderio said, made her realize that David Boardman, her video production teacher at MMTC, was a lot wiser and more knowledgeable than she had thought. “After states,” she said, “I started thinking that maybe I should have listened to him.” And so she has done just that. In fact, she credits her victory in this month’s Local Skills Championship to some of the guidelines Boardman gave her on video production techniques.

This year, then, Desiderio is confident she is better prepared for the state meet, which is slated March 7 and 8 in Bangor. “This year,” she said, “I’m studying a lot more on different ways of editing (my video production) so I stand out more for the judges.”


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