State Skills USA successes pave path to Nationals

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Catherine Gagulashvili culture editor

This year at the statewide Skills USA competitions, one out of four teams from KBEV won gold, one team from Radio Airlift won gold and one student from Advanced Culinary won gold. Every year, students from the advanced KBEV class, Radio Airlift and Advanced Culinary have the opportunity to compete at Skills USA, in order to test the skills they have learned throughout the school year. The State competition took place from April 19 to 22 in Ontario, Ca. In order to qualify for State, the participating students had to place at Regionals which took place on Feb. 3 in downtown LA.

KBEV competitors filmed and submitted a live newscast in their studios prior to the event. During the trip, they interviewed with judges and took technical tests. Senior Noah Danesh, junior Arian Tabibian, sophomore Eva Danesh and sophomore Ethan Bootehsaz were the team of four that placed gold at State, qualifying them for Nationals.

“For Skills, we really tried so hard to make [our live newscast] perfect so, spending that time to keep redoing it until we got it right taught me how to be a better speaker, how to be a better writer, how to be a better person on camera,” Eva Danesh said.

Radio Airlift’s representatives were sophomores Tohar Zamir, the club’s president, and Ryan Dubin. The two competed in the Audio-Radio Production.

“Skills USA was an insightful learning experience. I took away a sense of professionalism that you have to have when you work in an industry,” Zamir said. “You can have fun with it but you can’t be too loose. You have to understand how to put together a show to make a good one; you have to understand what’s expected of you.”

The Advanced Culinary class only had one representative, senior Eric Cherdak. Cherdak had to, within the course of two hours, prepare a three course meal, including a mixed green salad with an emulsified dressing, a clear, chicken soup and an airline chicken breast topped with suprême sauce with glazed carrots and oven roasted potatoes on the side. Cherdak’s first place was unexpected.

“When they started saying third place, one school third, another school second, I kind of started losing hope and so did my instructor. And then when they called Beverly Hills High, I did not know what to think,” Cherdak said. “I was actually a little bit freaking out because I did not expect to win and my instructor, I remember when I got up and started walking, I turned around and I saw him sprinting toward me and he hugged me and picked me up. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ A lot of things were going through my head. It took me a while to process. Even to this day, it takes me awhile to process that I won.”

All first-place winners will be advancing to Nationals, which will take place in Kentucky from June 25 to 29.

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