Nunez Earns 2nd Place Finish, State Advisor of the Year Nomination at Louisiana SkillsUSA Competition

Nunez SkillsUSA Team

The Nunez Community College SkillsUSA team, which represented the college April 2-5 at the Louisiana competition in Alexandria, included State Advisor of the Year nominee and Nunez STEAM Director Julie Rexford, right, and Nunez SGA President and Aerospace Manufacturing Technology student Matt Durette, center, who finished 2nd Place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Nunez Electrical Construction Instructor Steve Baiamonte, left, was also on hand to support Nunez students. Five Nunez students competed overall.

The SkillsUSA team representing Nunez Community College at state competition returned with some impressive accolades.

Nunez SGA President and Aerospace Manufacturing Technology student Matt Durette, who is hearing impaired, claimed second place in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition. Team Advisor and Nunez STEAM Director Dr. Julie Rexford was honored before the competition with a State Advisor of the Year nomination.

“It was a pleasure to work with our students as they prepared and competed at this competition,” said Dr. Rexford.

Durette delivered a monologue using American Sign Language for his demonstration in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition. His success came as no surprise to his instructors and peers on the Nunez campus.

“SkillsUSA is a great experience. I got to meet people that will be great for networking when I start my career after graduating,” he said. “The competition was a challenge, but it taught me to prepare and be ready for any opportunity.”

Andreas Pashos, program chair for the Aerospace Manufacturing Technology program at Nunez, said Durette distinguished himself as a student to watch very early in his time at Nunez.

“Matt quickly showed himself to be one of the top students in the Aerospace program from an effort, attentiveness, intellect, teamwork and excitement standpoint,” said Pashos. “He pushes himself and others around him to make the most progress and impact.”

Nunez Vice Chancellor for Education, Training and Student Success Dr. Cherié Kay LaRocca said Rexford has also set a standard of excellence since joining Nunez in 2021, which made her nomination no surprise.

“We are so proud that Dr. Rexford was nominated as the SkillsUSA State Advisor of the Year,” said Dr. LaRocca. “Dr. Rexford goes above and beyond for our students and faculty to ensure the success of SkillsUSA. She is beyond deserving of this recognition.”

Nunez students competing at SkillsUSA included:
Garret Brown – Culinary Arts
Chassidy Carter – Culinary Arts
Matthew Durette – Extemporaneous Speaking
Alexis Hernandez – Culinary Arts
Elizabeth Ladner – Culinary Arts

Registration is open now for both the Summer and Fall 2023 terms at

About Nunez Community College
Nunez Community College is a student-centered institution that delivers relevant and innovative curriculum integrating the arts, sciences, and humanities leading to academic credentials and workforce opportunities. Nunez serves a vital role in the community by engaging with partners to support student success and personal growth. Nunez Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Nunez Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website ( Nunez is located at 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette, LA. For more information, visit