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Cleburne HS UIL Academic Athlete to Compete Friday at Regional Contest

                Cleburne High School senior Colton Kimbell will be among the competitors at the UIL Academics 5A-Region II contest taking place April 22-23.

                Kimbell was named a Region qualifier after coming away with the silver medal in Computer Applications at the District contest. He is a three-year participant in the event which tests competitors on their mastery in integrating word processing speed/accuracy with skills in the use of database and spreadsheet applications.

                In producing two printouts during the timed event, students are challenged to demonstrate a thorough, working knowledge of the applications involved in the competition, while also displaying the ability to direct data from one application to another.

                Kimbell says he knows his way around a computer. As a 21st century learner, he’s adept at using the technology to make life easier and the completion of tasks faster.

                “I’m interested in the ways you can use a computer—and I’m pretty good at it,” he said. “I understand the technical side of the computer, but what I like most is putting that technology to work.”

                He first competed in Computer Applications as a sophomore—as a last-minute substitute.

                “I subbed for someone else who couldn’t compete at the district meet,” he Kimbell said. “I decided to compete again as a junior and scored in the top five at district. I think competing the last two years helped this year. In getting ready for District, I also worked on things I had missed in last year’s contest.”

                “When I finished everything on the test, I didn’t think I was going to score very high,” he said. “When I found out I placed second, it was great. This is the first time I have won a medal in anything.”

                Cleburne HS UIL Coordinator Chris Poss is among those celebrating Kimbell’s achievement, and his move to the next round of competition.

                “I’m really proud of Colton,” Poss said. “He is a hardworking young man that has been involved in UIL Academics most of his high school career. He has competed in multiple events, but this year decided to put all his eggs in one basket, with a hope of making it to regionals in the event in which he has seen the most success.”

                “He will be in a very tough field at the regional contest, but he has been working every day in class and after school, when his schedule has allowed, to give himself the best shot he can,” Poss said. “As Colton is a senior, he will be sorely missed from our UIL Academics team next year, but at the same time, we that coach in this program are also very proud of the growth we have seen in Colton over the past two years.”

                In addition to his participation in UIL Academics, Kimbell is a three-year culinary arts student. As a member of the Sting Bistro student team, he likes being on the front line as a server.

                “Last year I made a pizza, and somehow it turned into spaghetti,” he said. “It seems things can go really well for me in the kitchen—or the total opposite. I like being a server in the Bistro and at events where we help. I like the idea of serving people—and helping to make it a good dining experience for them.”

                Describing himself as a hard worker who likes to try new things, Kimbell plans to study photography in college, after exploring animation, graphic design and audio/visual production at CHS.

                “Making something, as an individual or with a group, makes me feel good,” he said. “It’s very fulfilling—it makes me feel accomplished. I’d like to learn more about photography and expand into video editing and directing--but I’m still exploring.”

                As he prepares for Friday’s contest at Prosper Rock Hill High School, he’s reviewing, researching and readying himself for what he knows will be a challenge.

                “I don’t get nervous, I’m more of a laid-back competitor,” he said. “My goal is to be prepared to do what I need to do—and compete. If I do well, I can go to state. That would be very amazing. The bottom line, is that this has been a critical learning experience—that has put my brain to work.”

                Several members of the CHS UIL Academics Team came away with top finishes at the district meet including the accounting team of Cheyanne Miller, Kendra Ulrich, Laramie Stehling and Harley Stehling, which placed fourth. McKinnley Blake placed fourth in the spelling event. Nova Hess was among the competitors in journalism events, placing fifth in copy editing. She also placed fifth in Prose Interpretation. Jack Edminston finished sixth in Informative Speaking.