Schools recognized for Business Professionals of America skills

By Millie Emery and Bob Hansen

After years of state and national recognition, it comes as no surprise that Wayne County schools are again sending students to a national competition for their business skills.

This year, 40 local students are headed to what’s called one of the happiest places on earth.

Lincoln, Centerville, Richmond and Hagerstown each sent students last week to Business Professionals of America’s State Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, which offered learning and competition opportunities.

BPA calls itself the nation’s leading career technical student organization. It has 45,000 members in more than 1,800 chapters.

BPA supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards.

Through BPA experiences, students can prepare for careers in business administration, finance and accounting, information technology, video production, human resources, computer programming, graphic/web design and small business entrepreneurship.

The national conference takes place April 26-30 in Anaheim, California, which is the home of Disneyland.

In addition to honing their talents before nationals, members will focus on raising the money needed to cover their journeys. The estimated cost is about $900 each, said Garrett Singer, LHS chapter adviser.

Donations designated for BPA chapters may be sent to each school.


LHS had the largest local delegation of state competitors, sending 54.

Of those participants, 31 were recognized on stage for earning Top 10 recognition in their events.

Twenty Golden Eagles qualified for nationals. Singer said his students had another great year at state.

“From competitive events to leadership sessions to networking with students and colleges from across the state, our students took every advantage to continue to grow as people and business professionals,” Singer said.

Rachel Morgan, vice president of the LHS chapter, is one of the students who made the most of those opportunities.

After having what she called an unfortunate grading experience in one of her events at regionals, Morgan decided to apply for an internship at the state leadership conference.

During the internship, she was able to work with state officers, coordinators and other members behind the scenes.

“I was also able to work on my management, social, and professional soft skills, which BPA never fails to provide its students with,” Morgan said. “After my internship at SLC, I conversed with the director of strategic programs and experiences for BPA and have been recommended to intern at the national leadership conference.”


The Bulldogs will send 10 members to the national leadership conference.

In addition, the chapter also received three BPA Care Awards of Excellence for their participation in Special Olympics, Community Service, and Marketing and Public Relations.

They also received the Quality Chapter of Distinction Award and the Chapter Activities of Excellence Award.

Vice President Avery Walther said Centerville’s BPA chapter was immensely successful this year, especially because it was the first year for most of its students to compete in Indianapolis.

“With only two returning members that have competed at state prior, almost half of our chapter advanced,” Walther said. “Our chapter as a whole won several awards based off community service and quality.”

Mia Lickfelt, who earned first in Integrated Office Applications, calls BPA a great experience, saying it has presented her with many opportunities and relationships that she wouldn’t otherwise acquire.

Lickfelt said adviser Bonita Klein has been an excellent mentor for their chapter “by continually striving for excellence.”

“I have learned so much from my experiences in BPA and I look forward to representing Mrs. Klein and my school in California,” Lickfelt said.

Member Reagan Wilmot describes BPA state as “a huge learning experience.”

“From going to open events to leadership conferences and ending the nights with assemblies, I learned a lot about working with new people and more about the organization overall,” Wilmot said. “I am very thankful to be a part of such a fun experience!”


Richmond High School qualified 10 of its 14 state competitors for nationals.

RHS had three first-place awards and five second-place awards. Three students qualified in two events.

“I am so proud of each and every one of our RHS students this year,” said adviser Denise Selm. “They worked hard to prepare for their competitions, and it shows in the results.”

Fred Mendenhall, a sophomore, is now a two-time national qualifier.

“BPA provides many things to high-achieving students that they could not obtain in a normal classroom,” Mendenhall said. “BPA has taught me how to speak with respect and confidence, produce high-quality work, meet deadlines, and treat everyone with dignity and professionalism.”


Two Tigers, Townsend Gross and Morgan Williamson, qualified for state competition based on their scores from the regional competition in December.

Adviser Linda Isom said Williamson competed at state, placing 22nd of 99 in personal financial management.

Wayne County’s state BPA results

Local chapter advisers shared results from Business Professionals of America’s state conference and who will be advancing to the April 26-30 National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California.


National qualifiers:

  • Admin Support Team, second: Alivia Anderson, Samantha Bell, Brody Puckett, Elijah Berry.
  • Video Production Team: third, Ellie Mettler, Zariah Davis, Karly Smith.
  • Parliamentary Procedure Team: first, Grace Sherwood, Mallory Burns, Elliott Jones, Paige Robinson, Jacob Myers, Luke Cottrell, Braydon Munchel.
  • Ethics & Professionalism: third, Delilah Rains.
  • Fundamental Word Processing: second, Luke Cottrell; third, Chevelle Rose.
  • Integrated Office Applications: fifth, Austin Brooks; seventh, Elliott Jones.
  • Basic Office Systems & Procedures: fourth, Gracie Gambill.
  • Advanced Office Systems & Procedures, first, Ellie Mettler.
  • Advanced Spreadsheet Applications: second, Brody Puckett.
  • Database Applications: second, Seth Ingalls; sixth, Austin Brooks.
  • Fundamental Desktop Publishing, fifth, Chevelle Rose.
  • Health Insurance & Medical Billing, first, Aleiyia Maraj.

Top 10 finishers:

  • Parliamentary Procedures Open: fifth, Mallory Burns; sixth, Elliott Jones; 10th, Paige Robinson.
  • Website Design Team: sixth, Wyatt Patterson, Ben Bates, Greysen Davis, Gunnar Newton.
  • Administrative Support Research Project: sixth, Jenna Gerber.
  • Fundamental Word Processing: ninth, Ben Bates.
  • Intermediate Word Processing: sixth, Samantha Bell; ninth, Joe Davis.
  • Advanced Word Processing: ninth, Whitney Lynn.
  • Basic Office Systems & Procedures: ninth, Samantha Lilley.
  • Advanced Spreadsheet Applications: 10th Kaila Arthur.
  • Database Applications: ninth, Mallory Burns.
  • Legal Office Procedures: 10th, Nataleigh Felder.
  • SQL Database Fundamentals: seventh, Evan Stuckey.
  • ICD-10-CM Medical Diagnostic Coding: seventh, Jenna Gerber.


National Qualifiers:    

  • Fundamental Accounting: second, Grant Burdette.
  • Administrative Support Research Project: second, Ellie Cox.
  • Basic Office Systems and Procedures: third, Alex Goodwin.
  • Presentation (Individual): third, Lorelei Guenther.
  • Health Administration Procedures: sixth, Zack Hugo.
  • Health Insurance and Medical Billing, fourth, Zack Hugo.
  • Fundamental Word Processing: fifth, Claire Kaucher.
  • Integrated Office Applications: first, Mia Lickfelt.
  • Business Law & Ethics: seventh, Andy Purcell.
  • Legal Office Procedures: fourth, Andy Purcell.
  • Integrated Office Applications: fourth, Drew Stelle.
  • Advanced Office Systems and Procedures: second, Drew Stelle.
  • Administrative Support Concepts: second, Drew Stelle.
  • Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications: fourth, Trevor Thornburg.

Top 10 finishers:

  • Integrated Office Applications: ninth, Aubrey Alexander; 10th, Dakota Torbeck.
  • Advanced Office Systems and Procedures: 10th, Makayla Maitlen.


National qualifiers:

  • Visual Design Team: first, Maddux Goggins, Jackson Bales, Jacob George.
  • Podcast Production Team: fifth, Francesca De Lorenzo, Guillermo Suarez Pernas.
  • Basic Office Systems: second, Lucas Jetmore.
  • ICD-10 Diagnostic Coding: fourth, Jackson Bales.
  • C# Programming: third, Charles Frederick.
  • Java Programming: first, Charles Frederick.
  • Computer Networking Technology: second, Fred Mendenhall.
  • Graphic Design Promotion: second, Owen Peters.
  • Ethics and Professionalism: first, Ethan Couch.
  • Computer Modeling: second, Owen Peters.

Top 10 finishers:

  • Administrative Support Concepts: fifth, Lucas Jetmore.
  • Computer Programming Concepts: second, Charles Frederick
  • Information Technology Concepts: seventh, Charles Frederick
  • Management, Marketing & HR: 10th, Ethan Couch.
  • Economic Research Individual: sixth, Jacob George.
  • Intermediate Word Processing: seventh, Lucas Jetmore.
  • SQL Database: eighth, Fred Mendenhall.
  • Administrative Support Research Project: fourth, Brooklyn Ellis.
  • Fundamental Desktop Publishing: seventh, Lauren Freeman.
  • Computer Modeling: fifth, Maddux Goggins.
  • Fundamental Spreadsheet: eighth, Yuvraj Prajapati.


Personal financial management, 22nd, Morgan Williamson

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A version of this article appeared in the March 22 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.