REYNOLDSVILLE – Jeff Tech has announced that Justin Gooden has earned the title of champion for the second straight year after competing in the State Skills USA Competition in criminal justice.
No one at the school has ever recalled having a student place first at Skills USA for two straight years. At the district level, Gooden earned a gold medal in 2013, qualifying him to compete at the state level. At the state level that same year, Gooden took first place and then earned 16th place at nationals.
In 2014, he once again earned a gold medal at the district level and first place at the state level. Although his first place win at state level qualifies him to compete again nationally this year, Gooden will not be available to attend.
Gooden enlisted in the U.S. Army in the infantry and will be heading to Fort Benning, Ga. for basic and advanced training. This will require his presence during the time of the National Skills Competition.
School officials noted that while Gooden should be in his junior year at Jeff Tech this school year, his intelligence and motivation have prompted him to take additional courses and earn enough credits to graduate a year early. Therefore, Gooden will receive his diploma at the end of this school year in lieu of graduating in 2015, making him eligible to begin his career in the U.S. Army this summer.
In addition, Gooden has completed Federal Emergency Management Agency courses and is certified in First Aid/CPR. He is a Public Safety Tele-communicator, Antiterrorism Level I and was named the 2013 Outstanding Protective Services Shop Student.
He is a member of NTHS and completed more than 70 hours of community service, including his senior project with a travelling First Aid/CPR training course offered at local campgrounds. For the past two years, he has won the Veterans Day essay contest sponsored by Jeff Tech.
Gooden is in the Protective Services CTE program at Jeff Tech under the supervision of Troy Conrad. He is the son of Jamie McGee of DuBois and Barry Gooden of Robertsdale. Pictured, from left to right, are Justin Gooden and Troy Conrad, protective services instructor.