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Oxford BPA sending 3 students to nationals

Oxford High School BPA students who earned the right to compete at the national conference in Orlando, Florida next month included (from left) Jon Doslak, Ryan Myers and Joe Sheppard. Photos by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
April 10, 2013 - ader Editor

Once again, Oxford High School's Business Professionals of America (BPA) students have earned the right to compete on the national stage.

Three students – Jon Doslak, Ryan Myers and Joe Sheppard – are headed for BPA's National Leadership Conference May 8-12 in Orlando, Florida.

BPA is the leading Career Technical Student Organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related fields. The group has more than 51,000 members in over 2,300 chapters in 23 states.

Oxford BPA students who placed at the state competition included (from left) Mike Harris, Garrison Sedam, Lauren Ubbing, Adam Cole and Ashley McCreery. (click for larger version)
Doslak, who's a senior, earned his trip to the Sunshine State by taking first place in the Fundamentals of Web Design competition at the BPA's state conference held March 22-24 in Grand Rapids.

Maria Wolbert, an OHS teacher who serves as one of the BPA chapter's advisers, called his win "pretty remarkable."

"We were pretty darn impressed," she said.

Doslak, who went to the BPA nationals last year as part of a web site design team that took seventh in the country, had to create an entire website "from scratch" to exacting specifications in 90 minutes. He had to do it all using two of the core technologies for building web pages.

"They have to meet those specifications to a tee," explained Wolbert, who's had Doslak as a student in her Web Masters class for two years. Prior to that, she had him for two semesters in her Web Design 1 and 2 courses.

"I really enjoy doing web design," said Doslak, who plans to attend either Oakland University or Michigan Technological University to study computer science. "It really interests me and I love learning about it (to the point) where I can improve every day.

"I love (doing) the coding and actually creating a site from scratch. I'm into the design (aspect), too. I like to let my ideas flow and my imagination go."

"He's such an impressive individual, period, but for him to be able to produce that (kind of work) and do it so accurately within that time frame and end up first in the state of Michigan, which is very competitive, it's truly mind-boggling," Wolbert said. "It's such an amazing achievement. It really is."

Wolbert believes Doslak's chances at nationals are "pretty good."

"I'm expecting him to be on that stage," she said. "I know he's hoping to get first (place) again and I'm hoping the same thing."

Also going to BPA's national competition are Myers and Sheppard, who took second place in the state in the Broadcast News Team category.

"I thought the guys did an excellent job," said OHS video media teacher Bruce Holladay, who also serves as a BPA adviser.

"They have a real interest in the news broadcasting program (at the high school). I was proud they took second place. I knew deep down inside that they had what it took to make it happen."

"I feel like we competed really well at states," said Myers, who's a junior. "We made a few mistakes that hurt our score, but I feel like at nationals, we'll be able to learn from our mistakes and possibly go pretty far."

"I'm just happy we made it as far as we did," said Sheppard, who's a senior. "I'm proud of how well we've done."

For the state competition, Myers and Sheppard produced a 5-minute news cast featuring two local stories they put together and a small weather segment.

"They looked around the school to see what was going on," Holladay said.

Sheppard's story was about a visit to the high school by officials from Oxford's newest sister school in Mexico. He said he likes "telling" and "interpreting" stories for viewers.

Myers' piece reported on a holiday nonperishable food drive to benefit the Oxford-Orion FISH pantry. "I like being the person who gives the information out to all the people that need it," he said.

"We actually don't get a whole lot of time in class to work on these contests because we have so much other stuff we need to get done," Holladay noted. "So, it's a real testament to the commitment on their end – coming in after school or working during their lunches to do a good job."

Holladay believes participating in these competitions reinforces what students' are learning in the classroom, sharpens their skills and helps bolster their confidence.

"It's always rewarding for me when we go to these contests and other people are saying the same things I've been telling them all the time," he said.

"My students do great things at Oxford High School all the time. Competing allows them to showcase their talents across the state and soon, across the nation."

Wolbert noted the BPA national competition is "pretty tough," but "historically, Michigan has the most winners out of all the states."

"We have for 10 years running," she said. "We're a very competitive state. Even to get on stage (at the state competition) is a big deal."

Other students who did well at the BPA state competition, but did not move on to nationals, are Mike Harris, Garrison Sedam and Lauren Ubbing, who were part of the Web Site Design Team, of which Doslak was also a member. The team placed sixth.

Adam Cole, Taylor LaMagna and Ashley McCreery were part of the Financial Analyst Team that placed seventh at the state competition.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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