Students from CTE programs KBEV and Culinary Arts won a total of 15 medals, eight of which were gold awards, at the annual SkillsUSA Regional Competition. The students submitted their competition entries on Jan. 23 and received the results on March 3. Twenty of the students will now advance to the state level for the competition.
SkillsUSA assigned a prompt for each different category, from broadcast to commercial baking. Students submitted their entries online and found out if they won a bronze, silver, or gold award by looking at the SkillsUSA website.
Head KBEV anchor senior Alana Morgan Perkins has competed at SkillsUSA consistently since her freshman year, but won a gold award for the first time this year in the broadcast category. Due to COVID-19, her experience differed from previous years.
“We were able to film in person at Beverly, and we wrote our scripts beforehand. We had to set up and prepare everything in the studio,” Perkins said. “Then, we made sure everyone was socially distanced. We even wore masks for the competition to do something a little different.”
Junior Melina Rosen, who won a gold award in commercial baking, “really” liked attending the competition despite pandemic challenges. This year, Rosen said, the competition required her to film herself baking sugar cookies and take a picture of the final product, which she said was more difficult than it sounds.
“While… I was thinking, once we got the food that we were supposed to make, ‘Oh this is super easy. I don’t know if this is gonna be super challenging or anything,’ when I was making them, I had to make them a lot because I wanted to…make them as perfect as possible so that I had a chance to win,” Rosen said.
In the job demo category, the assignment was to create a three to five minute presentation to fit the theme: interviewing celebrities. Junior Jacob Getty, who participated in this category, won a gold award for his entry.
“I described to the judges how I would do that, what steps I would take and how my end result would look like,” Getty said. “Whoever would present their idea and their skill the best would win.”
Perkins, with a team of four, created a video about how SkillsUSA helps to shape America’s workforce. Creating this entry took a large amount of time, with plans for the competition spanning three months.
Rosen’s entry took two nights to make, although this is partially because of her multiple attempts at creating the perfect sugar cookie.
“It was challenging…because I wanted to make sure that the cookies were as perfect as possible and so, for a week after, I had this huge bag of sugar cookies because I had made so many batches,” Rosen said. “The first time, I had some issues with my oven, so I ruined the first batch, but I then made some more the next night and spent all night making cookies to get the desired result.”
Rosen found out about her win through a friend, and she “started freaking out” until she confirmed the results for herself. After that, she was “really, really excited” about her gold award.
Getty also felt joy when he found out about his gold award, which makes him more confident to compete in the future.
“I was pretty happy. It’s the first time our school has ever competed in that category, so it was cool that I won,” Getty said. “I feel like if I was successful at it once, I think I could, each time, improve and do better.”
Perkins’s win added to the overall experience of the competition, which made her and her team feel like their efforts were worth it.
“When I realized we got gold and first place, I was in complete shock,” Perkins said. “We were [all] so excited. It was so much fun. We knew that we could do it, but it was even better to see that all of our hard work paid off.”