Emma Newman staff writer
KBEV students from both the beginning and advanced level participated in the regional SkillsUSA competition on January 25, one team winning gold, one team placing at silver, and the other team taking bronze. KBEV’s broadcast news teams have competed for the last five years, and all five times they have sweeped, qualifying them for state competition. This year, they continued their streak, as shown by the results published on February 13. This advanced all three teams to the state level, which they have taken the top three spots at for four out of the last five years.
Romeo Carey, the KBEV producer, believes that the reason that the students perform well every year is because of KBEV’s long run as a weekly high school news show. In addition, the videos produced at KBEV are very similar to the work required for the competition.
“We’re doing exactly what the competition asks for in a larger form,” Carey said. “When do we prepare for [the competition]? Starting the first day of school.”
This preparation and effort allows the team to excel every year, which is something that the judges appreciate.
“We’re so far off the map in terms of our skill set that it’s difficult for judges not to recognize it,” Carey said. “If people don’t recognize it, they certainly do by the fact that we keep showing up.”
At the competition itself, students did not have the time to make their video projects. Instead, they prepared them prior to the competition. They were also assigned topics in advance, with KBEV’s main broadcast news team producing videos about robots in the journalism field.
This year’s prompt about robots, however, was less mainstream than previous prompts, which had comprised of widely popular topics like the California wildfires. This forced the team to come up with more creative ideas when making their project.
“This [topic] was completely out there [and] something that does not connect at all to what we do or how we live in our state or in our city, so we had to approach that in a different angle,” lead journalism producer senior Eva Danesh said.
Despite this challenge, Danesh, who is an anchor for KBEV, believes that the team performed better than in previous years.
“We understand what the judges are looking for, we understand how to prepare ourselves because there’s a lot of little things that go on for this organization and a lot of little things you have to pay attention to and they’ll knock you off for if you don’t have it ready,” Danesh said.
The competition is very important among KBEV students because of its prestige.
“It’s the most elite competition in the area that goes national,” Carey said. “To be nationally ranked [has] become important to us, especially as a CTE class, to maintain a dominance in the arenas that we teach in.”
This year, lead producer junior Ricky Lee, whose job is to work behind the scenes and oversee the teams, worked to create a team with more solidarity and overall success.
“This year, I was focusing on our whole entire CTE program being successful and skilled,” Lee said. “I was trying to give more advice for kids who are kind of stuck and have no idea what’s happening.”
Danesh also worked with freshman and beginning KBEV students. With four years of experience as a part of SkillsUSA, Danesh thought that she could help students, especially beginners, who find the competition more nerve-wracking.
“I was able to give more insight to people who were first years and really show them the way [and] make them not nervous,” Danesh said. “A lot of people… are super nervous because they don’t know what to expect, but when you know what to expect and you know what’s coming, it’s fairly relaxing and easy.”
Lee noticed a difference from this year’s competition in comparison to the other SkillsUSA competitions. To him, what distinguished this competition from the rest was teamwork.
“[In] previous year, leading producers…had different ideas and aspects,” Lee said. “Our previous lead producers were focusing on their own stuff and they were just taking care of their own group and own team, so we didn’t really have any team chemistry as KBEV itself.”
Carey believes that the team performs well because of their teamwork, which allows them to be confident that they will win every year.
“We enter the competition knowing that we’re going to win it because every student is doing everything in their power not to fail,” Carey said. “When you do everything in your power not to fail and you’re honest and… prepare for the competition, you see that you are in the winners circle. The only team that’s gonna beat you is somebody who did more than you.”