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‘Envision, Empower, Ignite’

Westwood High School Business Professionals of America students earn top awards at national conference

Westwood High School students have achieved success in a recent Business Professionals of America competition. Back row from left are: Chloe Grochowski, Kaylee LaMere, Zachary Beckman, Jacob Johnson, Noah Penrose and Hunter LeClair. Front row from left are: Natalie Prophet, Kalle Keranen, Jillian Koski, Elizabeth Williams and Angelina Heinzman. (Photo courtesy of Ronalyn Arseneau)
Westwood High School students Jillian Koski and Kalle Keranen have earned national championships in their recent Business Professionals of America contests. The event was held virtually. (Photo courtesy of Ronalyn Arseneau)
Westwood High School students Jillian Koski and Avery Mariuzza earned awards during the Grand Awards Session at recent Business Professionals of American competition. (Photo courtesy of Ronalyn Arseneau)

ISHPEMING — National recognition can boost a student’s academic credentials.

Westwood High School Business Professionals of America students earned top awards, including two national championships, at the recent virtual BPA National Leadership Conference titled “Envision, Empower, Ignite.”

The Westwood students joined students from across the U.S. to participate in national level business skills competitions, workshops and general sessions.

Westwood seniors Maggie Boburka, Chloe Grochowski, Meg Harmon, Angelina Heinzman, Kaylee LaMere, Hunter LeClair, Avery Mariuzza, Noah Penrose, and Elizabeth Williams, along with juniors Zachary Beckman, Renee Blanck, Jacob Johnson, Kalle Keranen, Jillian Koski, Daniel Ostola and Natalie Prophet and sophomore Allie Grochowski, competed in individual or team contests.

“Our students participated in their national competitions from the classroom through Webex meetings, where students in contests testing their skills in accounting, spreadsheets, database and word processing were observed by a proctor while completing their tests,” said Ronalyn Arseneau, business educator at BPA adviser at Westwood, in an email. “Other students presented their research or were interviewed, also via Webex meetings.

“They showed poise and perseverance when technology issues arose during competition, so that is a learnin

g experience in and of itself.”

Mariuzza, who placed second, in Advanced Office Systems & Procedures, was quoted as saying, “Participating in BPA has taught me many useful skills I will use in the workplace later on in my career. I’ve learned how to complete tasks in a professional environment and communicate effectively with my peers and supervisors.”

Mariuzza said that to excel in the contests, she began to test for Microsoft certifications and was able to certify in all Microsoft applications while still preparing for the contests.

“This helped me to further develop my time management skills,” Mariuzza said. “Overall, BPA has been a positive, beneficial experience in my life. Despite the competitions being virtual this year, I had a great final year of BPA, and I will miss the experiences I had with my chapter.”

WHS students already earned 30 Top 10 awards at the State Leadership Conference on March 13-20.

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

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