Our Story

The NextGen Story

During the 2018-19 school year the Bertha-Hewitt High School's superintendent, Eric Koep, and technology director, Scott Wegner, hatched a plan to keep their students engaged. Bertha-Hewitt had plenty of technology for students to unleash their creativity on, so why not share that creativity with the world while helping the students learn about entrepreneurship? Using the laser engraver that the school had received two year prior, one group of students started creating custom plaques, pens, and coasters. Another group began experimenting with the plasma cutter in the shop, eventually perfecting the art of making custom sheet metal signs. As the program gained public attention leading up to its launch, Mike and Jenny Aksamit offered their newest business venture to the program: Pure Goodness Bath and Body. Pure Goodness makes everything from goat's milk soap to lip balm.

Today the entrepreneurship program is still going strong. With Cody Shamp in charge of laser engraving, Rick Harig manning the plasma cutter, and Katlyn Kyar creating for Pure Goodness, NextGen Bears is steadily growing every year!