Two Dodge City students would like the community's help.

In a statewide skills competition held recently in Hutchinson, Dodge City High School seniors Elizabeth Gail and Victoria Garcia Unzueta, won the state championship in the SkillsUSA Visualization and Animation competition.

The win marks the sixth-straight year a team from Dodge City has qualified for the national competition held in Louisville, Kentucky, this summer.

"We've won state the past five years, but we've never been able to advance in the competition because there was nothing in the school's budget to cover expenses," said DCHS graphics and animation instructor Christopher Spindler. "This year, though, we've been fortunate enough to find a national technology company that wants to pay all of the team's expenses except for travel to help them."

With the sponsorship, the team remains $1,100 short.

According to Spindler, one local production company has already donated $400.

"We feel like we have the world at our feet right now, but only if we get the chance to compete nationally and show the world what students from Dodge City can do," said Gail.

Unzueta added, "It's not often that the coach is more excited about his team's accomplishments than the team's members, but Mr. Spindler truly was. He promised that he'd carry us to Kentucky on his back if that's what it took for us to compete."

The DCHS duo won state, beating out fellow DCHS animators Luke Stecklein and Ryan Robertson, by creating an animated fantasy story about two horses learning important life lessons.

"These young people have worked very hard in preparation for this competition, and I'm very proud that they were able to sweep the top two spots and carry on the winning tradition that we've created in our program," said Spindler. "I'm particularly excited that these two young ladies were able to win because this is usually a male-dominated competition.

"Their title is a major milestone as it throws open the door for bright young ladies to participate and excel in an area of the industry that had been previously unexplored."

Anyone who would like to contribute to the DCHS SkillsUSA 2019 team is asked to contact Spindler at (620) 393-1206 or at

Time is of importance as entry fees must be sent this week," Spindler said. "I'd love to show the world that DCHS has some of the best 'career-ready' students in the country.

"They just need some financial assistance to make it happen."


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