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KHSD students fare well in virtual competitions in spite of COVID-19 challenges

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Posted at 9:46 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-01 00:46:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — When it comes to national school competitions the stakes are already high. And a pandemic can add an extra set of challenges, but Kern High School District students did not let that stop them from making it to the top of their Virtual Enterprise Competitions.

The Bakersfield High School Trekers Marketing Team went the “virtual” distance and placed third nationally in the Virtual Enterprise Competition.

One junior on the team described to me what she felt, hearing her team place in the championships, between her distanced learning classes last week.

"I was supposed to be in class, but I wanted to watch the award ceremony too. I was sitting with my mom, in the dining room, watching this on our computer, we had it on video she got pictures of me! It was really cool to see that and be in my house and win this,” Maggie Gless, Bakersfield High School junior.

Gless has seen neighbors and friends succeed in Virtual Enterprise Competitions in the past, little did she and fellow BHS Treker, Riley Spurlock know the year they’d decided to join, would be the one where they’d place nationally, despite having to juggle virtual learning and a virtual competition.

“I was definitely nervous at first because I didn’t know computer wise or internet wise, but it turned out to be really fun in general and participate in a group,” said Spurlock

They may not have been able to present in New York, like finalists in the past, but their commercial for their pet tracking collar clip-on, Treker still shined on screen.

“So, if you've ever seen the TV show Shark Tank, it’s very much like Shark Tank for high school students. But it’s a little bit more academic, so they’re pressed a little bit more," said Ryker Solano.

That’s BHS’ virtual enterprise teacher, Ryker Solano, who watched the entire class of 25 students come up with the concept of the product, the marketing, the business plan and, information technology and other company facets, without being able to meet physically in person.

"That can obviously inspire kids to put the work in to see the big city. But knowing from the get-go that New York wasn’t going to be there, and yet they still take pride and ownership of the competition and this business, really speaks volumes to their work ethic.”

It’s not just the BHS Trekers Marketing Team that succeeded against all odds. BHS’ Business Plan Team finished in top 20 semi-finalists, Stockdale High School Arachne Apparel got first place in the National Human Resources Competition, and although they did not place, the Centennial Absideon Finance Team advanced to the finals.