From drafting to debate – students bring home the gold

John Wei, Graphics Editor

Each year, Bear Creek students participate in a wide array of competitions that showcase their skills.

The SkillsUSA Team, which competes in engineering-based events, had a particularly strong run this year, with the gold, silver and bronze medals in both Introductory Drafting A, which covers freshmen and sophomores, as well as Introductory Drafting B, which is the junior and senior counterpart.

In Intro Drafting A, freshmen Allen Tran, Juan Hernandez and Shelby Bartlett earned gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively. In Intro Drafting B, junior Evan Guerra took gold, junior Benjamin Reese silver, and senior Dean Waewthaisong bronze.

Hernandez also placed in the Job Interview category, earning silver and Bartlett earning gold.

“I was honestly shocked,” Bartlett said. “I was not expecting [the win]. The other schools we were competing against prepare every year, every day. It was amazing how I got the award as a freshman.”

In Technical Design Drafting, senior Corey Stiles took gold; junior Michael Khoo took silver; sophomore Robbie Sollie placed 4th, sophomore Nicolas Banis placed 6th, and Aleksandr La Forge placed 9th.

The SkillsUSA Quiz Bowl team also advanced to state, with a silver medal finish.

From the automotive technology department, seniors Joshua Howe, Chris Rider, and Roberto Monarrez-Jines placed Silver in the Careers Pathways Showcase, while sophomore Brandon Lender and senior Marcus Caras both placed gold in Introductory Power Equipment Technology and Sustainability Solutions respectively.

Roger Crane, who teaches drafting design and other engineering-based classes at Bear Creek, serves as the advisor for the Bear Creek SkillsUSA team.

“Most of the [SkillsUSA team] are in the drafting class,” Crane said. “We practice and practice and practice. Every student has access to the software at home.”

In Speech and Debate,  junior Zachary Denney and senior Muhammad Alameldin will move to state for the Parliament event, while senior Amariah Tadena and junior Anthony Nguyen will also move to state for the Duo Interpretation, joining sophomore Victoria Castro-Chavez, who auto-qualified for State for her performance in Congress.

The Science Olympiad Regional competition, took place at the University of the Pacific on March 1. Sophomore Justin Layman and senior John Wei took silver in Disease Detectives; junior Deon Tran and sophomore Robbie Sollie took bronze in Geologic Mapping; seniors Jessica Nguyen and Jasmine Santos placed fourth in Chemistry Lab and sophomores Aiden Backus and Justin Layman placed fourth in Designer Genes.

The MESA competition also took place on March 1 and ended with senior Daniel Alatorre taking the gold medal for Mousetrap Vehicle, freshman Allison To taking the silver medal for Solo Math in Algebra II, and freshman Fadi Alzammar taking the bronze medal for Solo Math in Geometry.

On the artistic front, senior Arianna Buhagiar won the Docent Council award of Merit in the upper division for her portrait, done in pastel, of fellow classmate Shaquita Myers.

“She asked me to draw her,” Buhagiar said. “I was inspired by the colors of the sunset that were complementary. I chose that pose because the shadows were perfect.”

Freshman Kylei Hernandez and seniors Maci Ceja and Heiress York received honorable mentions for their entries.

The awards were given in the 83rd annual Robert T. Mckee Student Art Contest & Exhibition, which is run at the Haggin Museum in Stockton.