Sharon Stull aspires to a career in cosmetology.

The Westminster High School senior's ambitions received a boost recently when she wona gold medal in the 1991 Maryland State Vocational Industrial Clubsof America Skill Olympics.

"Some people had a feeling I was going to win," the Silver Run resident said. "But I was surprised."

Sharon won first place in cosmetology, beating out other vo-tech students from across Maryland. The competitions were judged by area business people.

In all, Carroll students won 16 gold, six silver and three bronze medals. Gold medalists advance to the National VICA Skill Olympics at Louisville, Ky.,in June.

Kate Engel, assistant principal at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center, said Carroll students garnered the largest number of gold medals in the county's history.

Carroll students earned gold medals in a range of categories, including auto body repair, automotive technology, custodial service, electronics service technology, diesel equipment mechanics and residential plumbing.

"We're very pleased and excited," Engel said. "Generally, we do well, andthat says a lot about the staff and the students here."

Also winning a gold medal in cosmetology was Shannon Hensler, a Westminster High School junior. She won first place in a job skill demonstration bypreparing for a pedicure.

"I was excited," said Shannon, who likeSharon is enrolled in the two-year cosmetology program at the vo-tech center.

Unlike Sharon, though, Shannon will not advance to the national competition. Job-skill demonstration winners will compete in a run-off. The overall state winner will advance to Louisville.

For the second straight year, Jesse Wyatt, a North Carroll High School senior, won a gold medal -- in residential wiring.

"He's been a good student," said Charles Nightingale, electrical construction instructor. "He's always been willing to learn anything you have to tell him."

The 17-year-old Hampstead resident won third place in the national contest last year.

To raise money for students to compete in Louisville, the vo-tech center will conduct a flea market, pancake breakfast and car show on May 11. Students will be traveling to the competition by bus to lower costs, Engel said.

Other first-place winners were Ray Whittington, auto body repair; Kevin Lentzner, automotive technology; Tina Fick, cosmetology model; James Brandenburg, custodial service; Michael Myers Jr., diesel equipment mechanics; Robert Clark Jr., electronics service technology; Staci Ridgely, extemporaneous speech; Sherry Allen, Amy Coates, David Dean, Vicki Lowe, Kathleen Winter, health occupations knowledge bowl; Rick Kramer, Chastity Whitt, Nikki Hahn, job skill demo A; Charles Harrison, masonry; Scott Shipley, motorcycle service technology; Benjamin Eyster, residential plumbing; Stacey Hess, job skill demo A model.

Second-place winners were Joe Clark, action skills demonstration; Michael Rathburn, commercial baking; Kristen Hough, culinary arts; Teresa Kibler, Shawn Kidwell, Rachel Klingelhofer, Shelby McKinney, Donna Merkel, Stefanie Myers, Cindy Saboury, opening and closing ceremony team; Wendi Crone, prepared speech; and Charles Dukehart, sheet metal.

Third-place winners were Wayne Leister, electronic technology; Judith Henderson and Lori Hryczaniuk, job skill demo A; and Jessica Rogers, job skill demo A model.

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