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Kayleen McCabe of 'Rescue Renovation' and SkillsUSA director, Tim Lawrence, tour St. Helens High School

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Kayleen McCabe posses for a selfie with students from the St. Helens High School Renovation and Remodeling class during a school visit on Friday, Feb. 9.Kayleen McCabe, the host of DIY Network TV series "Rescue Renovation," spent the day at St. Helens High School alongside national and state representatives from the SkillsUSA organization Friday, Feb. 9.

Students in the renovation and remodeling class at the high school entered and won a video contest hosted by SkillsUSA to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month.

The grand prize? Friday's visit with McCabe and other representatives from the national organization, SkillsUSA, which promotes hands-on trades education for high school students.

During the visit, McCabe was joined by SkillsUSA Executive Director Tim Lawrence, SkillsUSA Oregon Director Teresa Mankin and other officers and ambassadors with the program, including two student leaders from Oklahoma and Virginia, Brenna Stinnett and Hunter Radford.

The group spoke briefly at an apprenticeship forum held at the high school, then toured the school with woodshop and construction teacher Joe Mauck showing off various CTE programs in the school, like photography and early childhood education.

Visiting with students at schools throughout the country gives McCabe the opportunity to encourage students, talk about the numerous opportunities to pursue skills-based trades, and discuss her own experiences as a contractor and homebuilder. McCabe said she was excited to learn about the SHHS program, which focuses on renovation in the high school as well.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Kayleen McCabe, Tim Lawrence, and Kayla Jerome chat about a wood carving Jerome was completing in the high school wood shop on Friday afternoon."What's unique about this program is that they're teaching students remodeling. A lot of times teachers aren't brave enough to go out and teach a remodeling project, but to be quite honest, if you're going to learn residential construction, starting in the world of remodeling is so valuable because you come across so many things you to fix, and I think it's such a better lesson that just having students build a house," McCabe said.

Lawrence said he was excited to visit the school and see firsthand the impact and importance of programs that teach hands-on skills in the classroom.

"What I enjoy the most is visiting local schools like (St. Helens High School) and seeing where the magic of our program really happens, at the grassroots level," Lawrence stated in an email to the Spotlight. "All across this nation I hear stories of the life-changing experiences that our students have had because of special mentors like Joe and the other instructors/SkillsUSA Advisors who go the extra mile to work with students individually to help them hone their personal, workplace and technical skills."

McCabe regularly visits classrooms around the country to talk with students about skills-based education, technical education programs and programs like SkillsUSA.

After touring St. Helens and learning more about the various CTE programs the school offers, from carpentry to child care, McCabe said what stood out to her was the amount of community support and involvement in the program.

"It's clear the support you're getting from the community by the products around, the kinds of projects the students can work on. It's great here," McCabe said, referencing woodshop materials and supplies in the high school.

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