By Pixie Sulser
Third in the nation is an honor that Ramona High School senior Tyler Pavlick can add to his already extensive resume.
Pavlick, who grew up riding and working on motorcycles, earned third place win at the SkillsUSA Championship in Kansas City, Mo. The annual competition, which takes place in a space equal to 16 football fields and hosts approximately 5,000 contestants in 95 separate events, showcases the best career and technical students in the nation.
Pavlick earned his individual recognition in Motorcycle Service Technology after a 10-hour contest.
“Each competitor had to build a motorcycle motor from the bottom up,” he said. “We had two hours to complete the motor, but I finished in 45 minutes. I felt pretty confident because I had studied the manual they gave us the night before.”
The one thing he said he did that no one else did was wipe all the fingerprints off the chrome motor when he finished.
“When one of the judges asked me why I had done that, I said, ‘Doesn’t your company (Harley) believe that your workers should have good workmanship?’”
The judge told Palvick that his extra attentiveness had just earned him another 10 points.
“I think that was the difference between third and fourth,” said Palvick.
In addition to bringing home a national title, Palvick earned tools, scholarship money, a Harley jacket, and a Harley motor for the school. All total, from Palvick’s competitions over the past two years, he has earned approximately $70,000 in scholarship monies to technical schools such as Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and Wyotech.
RHS auto teacher Mike Saavedra describes Tyler as “a student who advanced in automotive due to his willingness to apply himself beyond what most students are willing to do. He always strives to be the best.”
Because of hiw background riding and working on motorcycles, participating in auto classes when he became a freshman at RHS was a natural progression. When he isn’t working on motors at school, he can be found fixing motorcycles at KTM in Ramona or in his own garage after hours working on projects for family and friends.
“I work six days a week at KTM, and then spend several hours a night working on my personal stuff,” said Palvick.
After graduation in June, this enterprising senior plans to take advantage of his scholarships, although his specific plans are still in the planning stages. His ultimate goal is to work in a specialty field such as being a drill rig mechanic or a train mechanic.