North Port High School students ranked seventh best in the state at the Technology Student Association State Conference earlier this month, earning the school a Top 10 spot for the first time ever.

“That was awesome,” said Ken Jakoby, engineering teacher and adviser of the Technology Student Association at North Port High School. “The kids were so excited. Every time they heard North Port, they had a chant going.”

The Technology Student Association is a national organization that enhances personal development, leadership and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Middle and high school students have the opportunity to participate in state conferences and an annual national conference, according to the organization’s website.

North Port High School students have competed in the state conference for seven years, with this year’s group earning its most notable ranking to date on March 2.

Other schools have been competing in the state conference for the last 15 to 20 years, Jakoby said, and some even offer the Technology Student Association as a class, giving students time to work on their projects during the school day.

At North Port High School, the Technology Student Association is offered as an after school club.

“We’re getting to the level where we’re competing with those other schools,” Jakoby said. “That really tells you how much time and effort these kids are putting in on their own.”

The students are preparing for the national conference in Washington, D.C. on June 28 through July 2.

The state conference award winners and semifinalists are:

First place

  • Animatronics – Frank Laterza, Kenny Ngyen and Karson Hoinkes.
  • Biotechnology – Collin Emery, Finbar Noonan, Breanna French, Kylee Kavanagh, Kate Rumisek and Joseph Finton.
  • Engineering Design – Finbar Noonan, Darryl Chamberlin, Brennen DeVries, Christian Ball and Tate Cawthorne.

Second place

  • Essays on Technology – Nick Dimov

Third place

  • Drone Pilot – Tate Cawthorne, Christian Ball, Brennen DeVries and Nick Dimov.
  • System control technology – Stephen Schaffner, Collin Emery and Dominic Sylvia.

Top 10

  • Board Game Design – Stephen Schaffner, Andrew Jarabek, Collin Emery, Finbar Noonan and Joseph Finton.
  • Debating Technology Issues – Erica Schmitt and Hannah Alder.
  • CAD Architecture 2-D – Mario Rodriguez
  • CAD Engineering 3-D – Kody Parsotan
  • Structural Design – Darryl Chamberlin and Emily Dore.
  • Transportation Modeling – Stephen Schaffneer
  • Extemporaneous Speech – Bianca Nalley
  • Photographic Technology – Breanna French
  • Digital Video production – Erica Schmitt, Mason Thull, Alexa Jones and Tracy Liu.
  • Future Technology Teacher – Brienna Larson
  • Website Design – Kenny Ngyen, Daniel Boykov, Finbar Noonan and Andrew Jarabek.


  • Chapter team – Brienna Larson, president, Frank Laterza, vice president, Bianca Nalley, secretary, Collin Emery, sergeant at arms, Darryl Chamberlin, reporter, and Tracy Liu, acting treasurer.
  • Children’s stories – Erica Schmitt and Mason Thull.

The Technology Student Association is hosting its third annual golf outing April 6 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Myakka Pines to raise funds for the club.

For additional information, contact Jakoby at


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