For Dunfee, an 11th grader from the Oxford Area School District, advancing to nationals is an accomplishment in and of itself. His journey to nationals started in December 2009 in a local competition against his classmates at the technical college. Taking first place in his school’s competition allowed Dunfee to represent TCHS at districts. There, he competed against students from other area technical schools throughout southeastern and central Pennsylvania.
A first place victory at districts advanced Dunfee to the Pennsylvania state competition. The state competition included a 100-questionwritten test, and diagnosis of nine engine-related issues. Dunfee handily beat out the competition at States; thereby, propelling him to nationals. The national competition is sure to be even more intense than states, but Dunfee feels ready.
“I’m really excited but I feel prepared, which helps with the nervousness,” said Dunfee. “SkillsUSA provides us with the requirements from last year’s competition so I have been looking over those specifications and making sure I study everything I can on parts and engine operations.”
His instructor at the Technical College High School, Greg Hurst, also believes that Dunfee is prepared for the competition.
“Nate takes a keen interest in engine technology,” said Hurst. “He is always on task, and applies himself. He is motivated and has the desire to learn and get the most out of his classes.”
At the technical college, Nate is learning the skills needed to troubleshoot and repair residential, commercial, and recreational outdoor power equipment and small engines.He also has the added advantage of a home life centered around engine repair; and, when not at school, Dunfee can be found hard at work at the family business - an engine repair shop.
“My whole family has always worked on engines. So I grew up around it, which is what first sparked my interest,” said Dunfee. “I love it and can’t imagine doing anything else.”
All of Dunfee’s hard work appears literally to be paying off. In addition to advancing to the national competition, Dunfee’s performance at states has earned him $42,000 in scholarships at the following post-secondary schools: Lincoln Technical Institute, Automotive Training Center, Universal Technical Institute and Pennsylvania College of Technology.
About the Chester County Technical College High School: The Chester County Technical College High School is a joint venture of the Chester County Intermediate Unit and Delaware County Community College. It offers career and technical programs free of charge for high school students residing in southern Chester County. The school also offers dual-enrollment classes for high school students that blend career and technical programs with associate degree college courses and enable students to graduate high school with up to 16 college credits.
Photo Caption: Pictured is Nate Dunfee, an 11th grader at the Chester County Technical College High School from the Oxford Area School District, who will represent Pennsylvania at the SkillsUSA national competition in Kansas City, Missouri, June 20-24.