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WHS students to compete for national business professional awards

Westwood High School students fared well in the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference. Winners in the Legal Office Procedures competition are from left Maggie Boburka, Jillian Koski and Kalle Keranen. Not pictured is Allie Grochowski. (Photo courtesy of Ronalyn Arseneau)

ISHPEMING — Sixteen Westwood High School students will compete for national awards at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference, “Envision, Empower, Ignite,” to be held virtually from April 26-May 9.

Eighteen WHS students earned 30 Top 10 awards at the State Leadership Conference on March 13-20, with 17 students earning the right to move on to national competition, according to Ronalyn Arseneau, a business educator and Business Professionals of America adviser at Westwood. Sabina Villar, another Westwood business educator, is a co-adviser.

“This year’s state competition was unlike any other, with students from around the state competing virtually,” Arseneau said in an email. “Students were required to download their tests, complete them and submit them in the required formats, all within the prescribed time limit for the contest.

“It was intimidating at times for students to manage their time as well as the technology to ensure they were able to submit their materials before the clock ran out on their contests.”

Arseneau said students in some judged events uploaded a prerecorded presentation, while others again had to download their topic or scenario, prepare their speech, and then record and upload that presentation, all within a 24- or 28-minute time frame.

“It did add another layer to the competitive environment,” she said.

The students competing at the national level will have to do so in a virtual format.

“Although they would love to travel to Florida for this competition, they are excited to have the opportunity to compete with other top students from around the country in their events,” Arseneau said. “We (she and Villar) are proud of the way our Westwood students prepare and conduct themselves, whether in person or in a virtual environment.”

The award winners will join students from across the U.S. to participate in national-level business skills competitions, workshops and general sessions. The organization’s activities and programs complement classroom instruction by giving students practical experience through application of the skills learned at school.

The results from the State Leadership Conference are:

≤ Meg Harmon: first place in Health Administration Procedures, seventh place in Extemporaneous Speech and 10th place, business spelling;

≤ Angelina Heinzman: first place in Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications and third place in Database Applications;

≤ Jillian Koski: first place in Legal Office Procedures, fourth place in Advanced Office Systems and Procedures, and 10th place in Merit Scholar;

≤ Avery Mariuzza: first place in Advanced Office Systems and Procedures, and third place in Health Administration Procedures;

≤ Elizabeth Williams: first place in Administrative Support Research Project, bronze medal in Financial Math and Analysis, and eight place in Intermediate Word Processing;

≤ Kalle Keranen: second place in Legal Office Procedures and fifth place in Basic Office Systems and Procedures;

≤ Hunter LeClair: second place in Fundamental Accounting, second place in Advanced Word Processing, silver medal in Financial Math & Analysis and bronze medal in Administrative Support Concepts;

≤ Kaylee LaMere: third place in Payroll Accounting, fourth place in Database Applications and 10th Place in Business Meeting Management;

≤ Maggie Boburka: fourth place in Legal Office Procedures and fifth place in Interview Skills;

≤ Chloe Grochowski: fourth place in Basic Office Systems & Procedures and seventh place in Human Resource Management;

≤ Zachary Beckman, Daniel Ostola and Natalie Prophet: fourth place in Administrative Support Team;

≤ Alex Adriano and Landon Ouellette: sixth place in Video Production Team;

≤ Allie Grochowski: eighth place in Legal Office Procedures and eight place in Interview Skills;

≤ Jacob Johnson: eighth place in Fundamental Word Processing; and

≤ Renee Blanck: 10th place in Fundamental Word Processing.

These students have qualified for national competition: Harmon, Heinzman, Koski, Mariuzza, Williams, Keranen, LeClair, LaMere, Boburka, Chloe and Allie Grochowski, Beckman, Ostola, Prophet, Johnson and Blanck.

“Although we didn’t have the typical itinerary of shopping trips, go-kart and the BPA dance, I still thoroughly enjoyed BPA’s State Leadership Conference,” Harmon said in an email. “I participated in Health Administration Procedures, which included answering multiple choice questions and keying medical documents. It was so exciting to watch Westwood’s hard work pay off as our team took the virtual stage during the awards show.”

In an email, Boburka said, “BPA state competition was an educational experience. I learned how to manage my day by focusing on BPA that morning, where I had to do be interviewed for my competition, and then after my interview, I was competing in U.P. swim finals.

“BPA has not only taught me business skills, but has also taught me life lessons that will help me in the future.”

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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