Rick Stephens Named SkillsUSA Outstanding CTE Educator

Rick Stephens Named SkillsUSA Outstanding CTE Educator
Posted on 04/24/2019
Worcester Technical High School welding teacher Rick Stephens was recently notified that he was selected by the National Board of Directors of SkillsUSA, Inc. to receive one of the organization's highest awards - the SkillsUSA Outstanding Career & Technical Educator Award! 

Mr. Stephens will be recognized at a special Outstanding Educator event during SkillsUSA's National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Ky., in late June. He will also be included in a special awards & recognition book for the conference.

About Rick Stephens

Rick StephensStudents feed off the passion and energy exhibited by Rick Stephens, who teaches welding and is the SkillsUSA advisor at his former high school. A graduate of Worcester Technical High School (MD), Stephens has been a SkillsUSA advisor for 32 years and lead advisor for 20 years. He was just recently named the Teacher of the Year for his school for the fourth time.

This year, his welding program won the first ever Channellock Trade School Trade Up national contest, winning a shop makeover as well as Channellock tools and prizes. In 2017, he was named SkillsUSA Maryland Advisor of the Year and was the Region 1 National Advisor of the Year. Mr. Stephens has grown his local SkillsUSA membership from 60 members to over 350 members at Worcester Tech. He has trained over 300 SkillsUSA Chapter Officers and has one or more state officers each year, most recently training the SkillsUSA National Parliamentarian. Local competition has increased student excitement and parent and community involvement, which also, in turn, increases media coverage for the school.

This year, his school sent 100 competitors to the SkillsUSA Maryland state competitions and earned 60 “top 3” medals. Over the past four years, Worcester Tech has had eight national winners. Rick has served on the SkillsUSA Maryland Board of Directors and is currently the chair. He offers workshops for advisors and visits other schools to help ignite their SkillsUSA programs.

Since restarting the welding program at his school five years ago with 12 students, Mr. Stephens now has a waiting list for the welding program.  His graduates are working in apprenticeships with local welding companies which brings positive attention to the school. He also teaches an adult four-year apprentice welding program at night at Sussex Technical High School in Georgetown, Delaware with 14 students.  

For the past 2 years, he has run a weekend welding training program for the Mountaire Farms maintenance department. His passion and excitement for teaching and learning is clearly his guiding light, and it continues to benefit students without end.