Jett Wins National Award

Robert “Bobby” Jett stands with the prior recipients of the SkillsUSA Lifetime Achievement Award, Tim Lawrence, left, and DR. Lee Ross, Right during a recent conference in Virginia Beach, Va.

Stafford High School career and technical students were left in awe after teacher and advisor wins prestigious award. SkillsUSA Virginia, a student organization dedicated to reading students for the workplace, had their annual conference in Virginia Beach on 4/9/22. The conference contained over 50 different competitions for Career and Technical Education students, including Masonry, Architecture, Cosmetology. Stafford High School brought home nine medals in six different categories. However, the most prestigious award that Stafford brought home was not earned by the students. 

During the opening ceremonies SkillsUSA officials Mr. Tim Lawrence and Dr. Lee Ross, were about to announce the newest recipient of the SkillsUSA Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award. Only three had ever been awarded, and they go to the hardest working advisors and adult leaders of SkillsUSA. Mr. Robert “Bobby” Jett is the first to ever receive this award in Stafford County.

Lawrence and Dr. Ross are two of three prior three recipients. They have been mentors to Jett for decades. No one knew who the two officials had planned to give the award to when the two arrived on stage. Lawrence listed the unknown recipients’ qualifications and how their work helped to shape SkillsUSA.

“He’s been a mentor, a role model and a friend,” Lawrence said. “He has led as a local advisor, he has led at the district level, this person has been recognized as a regional national advisor of the year. Ladies and Gentlemen, your next Lifetime Service Award goes to Mr. Bob Jett!”

 The crowd began to cheer, and some of the state directors began to cry. The SHS students were overjoyed. 

“I was starting to tear up a bit,” Jonah Unruh, a SkillsUSA competitor who was at the ceremony, said.. “He definitely deserves it. He works really hard for the program.” 

Later in the ceremony, Dr. Ross gave remarks on Mr. Jett’s career.

 “He was a drafting student. He competed as a student. He is an outstanding advisor [and] an outstanding teacher.” said Dr. Ross. “I have known [Mr. Jett] since 1985. He is just an excellent teacher.” 

Mr. Jett is the SHS SkillsUSA advisor and Drafting instructor, and he has been in the organization since he was in high school. Over the years, Mr. Jett has helped his students win competitions at the regional, state and national level.

“Among the other things I might be,”  Jett said, “I am shocked out of my mind.” Mr. Jett became the fourth person to ever receive the award, and perfectly epitomizes the goal of SkillsUSA: to prepare students for the workplace. 

 “He is constantly guiding us and helping us think about our futures,” SkillsUSA competitor Nathan Godsey said. “He does a great job preparing us for professional exams so we can be ready for the workplace.” 

 “He is the most passionate teacher I have ever met,” said SkillsUSA Secretary Norah Sutton. As a SkillsUSA officer and a Drafting student, Sutton has had Mr. Jett as an instructor for three years now.“He cares a lot about us. He challenges us everyday. He is really deserving of this award.”

Jett’s passion for SkillsUSA is constant, and appears throughout his work with his students and competitors. His professionalism shines throughout all that he does. 

“Thank you to all of my students, both  past and present.” said Mr. Jett. “I could go on, but we’ve got a competition to run. Best wishes to everyone tomorrow, and thank you very much.”