Wrangling School & Rodeo


A full-time Launch schedule allows Raymore-Peculiar middle school student Alaina Gatz time to train and participate in rodeos nationwide.

Alaina Gatz has a different morning routine than most eighth graders. “After I wake up, I go out and check on the horses,” says Alaina. After making the rounds, it’s back inside to log on and start learning—Alaina has a full-time virtual schedule with Launch. “I work on my assignments earlier in the day, usually,” Alaina says. “Then, once my mom gets home, I’ll go out and start training.”

Alaina is a Raymore-Peculiar middle school student, but a completely online schedule was needed to allow her to follow her true passion—competing in rodeos.“I was pretty much born on a saddle,” says Alaina, who has been riding horses since age 2. “Now I compete in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association.” Alaina is a contender in Poles, Trails and Barrels.

Competitions take place on the weekends, which means Alaina and her mom are often traveling Friday morning to Monday morning. “We travel all around,” Alaina says. “We go to a lot of rodeos in Kansas. But we’re also traveling to Oklahoma and Arkansas, and a couple rodeos in Texas.” When she does find herself at home, Alaina appreciates being able to work on her courses on her timeline. “My favorite thing about Launch is the flexibility,” she says.