After years of success at state and national levels, it’s not surprising that dozens of local high school students again qualified for Business Professionals of America’s state competition.

On Dec. 2, Lincoln, Hagerstown, Centerville, Richmond, Tri, Morristown, Shenandoah and Blue River Valley high schools tested their skills at BPA’s Regional Leadership Conference in Centerville, a part of the organization’s efforts to help young people build professional and technical skills to prepare them for future careers.

Lincoln alone will be sending 59 students to the state competition.

Wayne County students earned nearly 35 first-place finishes at the regionals as they entered a wide variety of categories. A few examples include personal finance, website design, broadcast news, podcast production, parliamentary procedure, health administration, human resources, computer programming, accounting, law and ethics.

Some of the events were competitive, providing students a chance to advance to state or potentially national recognition. Others were open events that challenged students to develop skills and earn 1st through 10th place recognition, but they did not qualify for state.

This year’s state conference is in downtown Indianapolis from March 10-12, and nationals will be in Chicago from May 10-14.

Students soon will begin fundraisers to pay for their upcoming expenses. General donations earmarked for BPA chapters can be sent directly to their schools.

BPA is a long-standing tradition for some local schools such as Lincoln. Garrett Singer and Ron Puckett are the chapter’s BPA advisers, and Kaitlyn Lacey and Sarah Morehouse run the parliamentary procedure team and assist in other areas as well.

For others, their legacy is just beginning or expanding as more students get involved with the program.

Centerville schools added BPA three years ago, benefiting from adviser Bonita Klein’s longtime experience with the organization. She serves as regional coordinator.

Beth Overfield is leading Hagerstown’s chapter this year; Linda Isom retired last spring. Five HHS students competed at regionals, and all advanced to state.  

Denise Selm, who advises Richmond’s chapter, said RHS students had a goal to recruit more members. They grew the organization from 17 last year to 29 this year. 

Wayne County also had a few students who received BPA’s Torch Awards, which are designed to promote professionalism and leadership. Students compete in activities in seven categories: leadership, service, cooperation, knowledge, friendship, love, hope, faith and patriotism. They log their activities in an online resume, meet benchmarks and accumulate points.

Centerville had three Torch Award winners, Alex Goodwin, Ellie Cox and Tizeta Jarvis. RHS had two, Ethan Couch and Owen Peters. Rachel Morgan received her Torch Award for Lincoln this year. 

Lincoln state qualifiers

Lincoln had 59 Business Professionals of America members qualify from the Regional Leadership Conference for state competition. Supplied
  • Fundamental Accounting: Bear Ervin, 2nd; Chevelle Rose, 5th
  • Payroll Accounting: Elliott Jones, 2nd
  • Personal Financial Management: Evan Stuckey, 2nd
  • Fundamental Word: Izzy Gross, 1st; Mia Cansler, 5th; Payden Robinson, 6th
  • Intermediate Word: Luke Cottrell, 2nd; Jamey Ramsey, 3rd; Ben Bates, 4th
  • Advanced Word: Joe Davis, 2nd; Samantha Bell, 3rd; Samantha Lilley, 4th; Alivia Anderson, 6th
  • Basic Office Systems & Procedures: Izzy Gross, 1st; Tahlia Rastbichler, 4th; Lili Griffey, 5th
  • Advanced Office Systems & Procedures: Gracie Gambill, 2nd; Samantha Lilley, 3rd
  • Fundamental Spreadsheet: Rebecca Harmer, 1st; Grace Briar, 2nd
  • Advanced Spreadsheet: Brody Puckett, 1st; Mia Cupp, 5th; Morgan Gambill, 6th
  • Integrated Office Applications: Bear Ervin, 1st; Mia Cupp, 3rd; Payden Robinson, 4th
  • Legal Office Procedures: Aleiyia Maraj, 2nd; Nevaeh Wharton, 3rd; Arabella Gilpin, 6th
  • Admin Support Team: 1st: Brody Puckett, Samantha Bell, Alivia Anderson, Elijah Berry
  • Business Law & Ethics: Leo Russell, 4th
  • Device Configuration & Troubleshooting: Mason Riggs, 1st; Christian Davis, 2nd; Josiah Berry, 3rd
  • Computer Security: Elijah Berry, 5th
  • Advanced Desktop Publishing: Chevelle Rose, 2nd
  • Graphic Design Promotion: Hannah Bogue, 1st
  • Broadcast News Production Team: 1st: Desmond Bex, Brax Dick, Josiah Berry
  • Global Marketing Team: 2nd: Grace Briar, Grace Smith, Addy Ross
  • Entrepreneurship: Gunnar Newton, 2nd; Juliana Losekamp, 3rd
  • Advanced Interview Skills: Rachel Morgan, 1st
  • Extemporaneous Speech: Bailey Burgin, 1st
  • Human Resource Management: Ryley Riggs, 2nd
  • Ethics & Professionalism: Delilah Rains, 3rd
  • Prepared Speech: Paige Robinson, 2nd; Morgan Gambill, 3rd
  • Parliamentary Procedure Team: 1st: Elliott Jones, Paige Robinson, Luke Cottrell, Jacob Myers, Braydon Munchel, Ashby Jones, Leo Russell, Lili Griffey
  • Presentation Individual: Desmond Bex, 2nd
  • Presentation Team: 2nd: Paige Pitcock, Paige Lunsford, Seth Ingalls, Noah Patterson
  • Medical Coding & Billing: Wendy Canterbury, 1st; Reilynn Ferguson, 6th
  • Health Insurance & Medical Billing: Owynn Osborne, 2nd; Keilyn Sherwood, 4th
  • Health Administration & Procedures: Aleyia Maraj, 2nd; Wendy Canterbury, 4th; Addy Ross, 5th; Hannah Bogue 6th

Hagerstown state qualifiers

Hagerstown photo: Hagerstown’s five Business Professionals of America members qualified for state. From left, Riley Gross, Zoe Meek, Charley Rinehart and Hazard Houghton. Morgan Williamson is not pictured. Supplied
  • Digital Media Production: Zoe Meek,1st
  • Payroll Accounting: Morgan Williamson, 1st
  • Banking and Finance: Morgan Williamson, 4th; Riley Gross, 5th
  • Presentation Team: 3rd: Hazard Houghton, Zoe Meek and Charley Rinehart

Centerville state qualifiers

Centerville students won awards during the Business Professionals of America regional competition. Supplied
  • Interview Skills: Josephine Daniel, 1st; Tori Beatty, 2nd
  • Fundamental Accounting: Julie Carter, 6th
  • Business Law and Ethics: Andy Purcell, 1st; Jayden Cornett, 3rd; Brady Moore, 6th
  • Administrative Support Research Project: Ellie Cox, 1st
  • Administrative Support Team: 3rd: Josephine Daniel, Jocelynn Willett, Ellie Cox and Dakota Torbeck
  • Health Insurance and Medical Billing: Zack Hugo, 1st; Savannah Davis, 3rd
  • Basic Office Systems and Procedures: Zachary DeHoff, 6th
  • Advanced Office Systems and Procedures: Alex Goodwin, 1st
  • Presentation Management (Individual): Lorelei Guenther, 1st
  • Human Resource Management: Tizeta Jarvis, 1st
  • Intermediate Word Processing: Claire Kaucher, 5th
  • Fundamental Word Processing: Sydney Martinez, 2nd
  • Fundamental Spreadsheet: Eli Walther, 4th; Nate Minton, 5th
  • Human Resource Management: Brady Moore, 3rd
  • Legal Office Procedures: Andy Purcell, 1st; Reagan Wilmot, 4th
  • Small Business Management: Jonathan Snyder and Gavin Straszheim, 1st
  • Advanced Spreadsheet: Trevor Thornburg, 4th
  • Advanced Word Processing: Dakota Torbeck, 5th
  • Payroll Accounting: Julie Carter, 3rd
  • Parliamentary Procedure Team: 2nd: Jayden Cornett, Savannah Davis, Lorelei Guenther, Zack Hugo, Tizeta Jarvis, Logan Smith
  • Personal Financial Management: Ethan Moore, 3rd; Conner Frazier, 5th
  • Ethics and Professionalism: Alex Goodwin, 2nd
  • Health Research Project: Makensy Isaacs, 4th
  • Basic Office Systems and Procedures: Claire Kaucher, 2nd
  • Fundamental Spreadsheet: Sydney Martinez, 6th
  • Economic Research (Individual): Nate Minton, 4th
  • Small Business Management: Joseph Shaffer, 1st
  • Integrated Office Applications: Trevor Thornburg, 2nd; Jonathan Snyder, 5th; Eli Walther, 6th

RHS state qualifiers

Richmond Business Professionals of America members competed at the Regional Leadership Conference hosted by Centerville. Supplied
  • Economic Research (Individual): Jacob George, 1st; Cooper Smith, 2nd
  • Economic Research (Team): 1st: Jacob George, Cooper Drook, Yuvraj Prajapati
  • Advanced Word Processing: Fred Mendenhall, 1st
  • Advanced Accounting: Kamara Alexander, 1st
  • Payroll Accounting: Kamara Alexander, 6th
  • Banking and Finance: Jesus Hernandez Rojas, 3rd
  • Personal Finance Management: Logan Priest, 6th
  • Fundamentals of Web Design: Owen Peters, 2nd
  • Medical Coding: Ashlee Grieswell, 2nd; Yuvraj Prajapati, 4th
  • C# Programming: Charles Frederick, 1st; Miles Roberts, 2nd
  • Java Programming: Zander Inderstrodt, 1st
  • Interview Skills: Gabriella DeMotte, 3rd
  • Computer Security: Carsyn Knight, 1st
  • Graphic Design Promotion: Nathan Ferrell, 3rd
  • Digital Media Production: Miles Roberts, 2nd
  • Extemporaneous Speech: Ethan Couch, 2nd
  • Ethics and Professionalism: Ethan Couch, 1st
  • Presentation Management (Team): Hannah Stealey and Lauren Freeman, 1st
  • Advanced Desktop Publishing: Lauren Freeman, 1st
  • Fundamental Desktop Publishing: Joanna Galloway, 2nd
  • Business Law & Ethics: Luv Patel, 5th
  • Health Administration Procedures: Luv Patel, 3rd
  • Health Research Presentation: Hannah Stearly, 1st; Pushkar Mishra, 2nd; Avery VanDervort, 3rd
  • Podcast Production Team: Lucy Couch, Avery VanDervort, Gabriella DeMotte, Chloe Cheng
  • Website Design Team: Lukin Uhte, Charles Frederick, Zander Inderstrodt
  • Visual Design Team: Carsyn Knight, Owen Peters, Nathan Ferrell, Logan Priest
  • SQL Database: Fred Mendenhall
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A version of this article appeared in the December 13 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.