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BPA students earn spots at state competition

Front row (from left): Michael Harris, Elise Ormiston, Kaitlyn Barber, Melissa Skelton, Maryann Stockard and Evelin (Dora) Roque-Resinos. Row 2 (from left): Caitlyn Ulinski, Nathan Thompson and Glenn (Vinnie) Tenaglia. Row 3 (from left): Greg Martin, Elizabeth Wilkins and Kathryn Flanagan. Row 4 (from left): Joe Green, Alex Nuss, Anna Stanko and Alicia Vasquez. Row 5 (from left) Alyssa Hurlburt, James Beaupied and Hannah Ex. Back row (from left): Tyler Scott, Ryan Myers, Harrison Lavins and Aiden Schieber. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
February 05, 2014 - Ranging from accounting and word processing to web design and broadcast news production, their skill sets are certainly diverse for high school students.

But they all have one thing in common – they're moving on up.

Twenty-two OHS students who are members of Business Professionals of America (BPA) will compete at the state level next month in Grand Rapids. For a list of the students, see the shaded box on Page 17.

"I have a feeling that we're going to do really well at the state level," said OHS senior Hannah Ex, co-president of Oxford's BPA chapter. "There's such a wide variety of events that you can compete in. It's not just accounting and finance."

"I think this year, people worked 10 times harder than they did last year, so I'm expecting quite a few students to place at states and even (have) a few (qualify) to attend nationals in Indianapolis," said OHS senior and BPA Co-President Tyler Scott.

Ex, who's been involved in BPA since her junior year, took second place in advanced accounting and 10th place in business meeting management concepts in the regional competition. However, at states, Ex will compete in banking and finance, plus open events.

"It's always good to get recognized for something," she said.

Scott, who also joined BPA as a junior, earned first place in financial math and analysis, second place as part of a financial analyst team, and fifth place in computer programming concepts. He'll compete in all three areas at states, plus open events.

"States is a whole new level," he said. "It's really amped up compared to regionals. I know that I'm going to have to keep working hard to place well. I'm just going to go in confident and whatever happens, happens."

BPA is the leading career technical student organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related fields. The organization has more than 51,000 members spread across more than 2,300 chapters in 23 states.

Ex described BPA as a "good social club" that when mixed with "the business aspect," helps pave the way for "success in the future."

"It's a way to learn things you wouldn't normally learn in high school, and enjoy it with your friends and people that care about you," noted Scott.

For Scott, being involved in BPA is similar to playing on a sports team.

"You're a part of something that's bigger than yourself," he said. "You're part of an organization that's looking to better a lot of kids at Oxford, a lot of kids that maybe don't know what career to (pursue). BPA helps open their eyes to what they could possibly do (in life)."

Scott said BPA taught him a valuable life lesson – "If you put in the work, you have the chance to succeed."

From her involvement, Ex has acquired leadership and organizational skills along with learning the importance of making connections with others. Attending regional and state conferences has given her the opportunity to interact people she wouldn't typically encounter.

"You meet so many different people and they're all from different places in Michigan," she said.

Ex is hoping her connections and social skills will get her elected as a BPA state officer, so she can experience the organization at "another level" and get a "behind-the-scenes" look at how it operates.

She's the first-ever candidate from the Oxford chapter and was encouraged to run for state office by teacher Lisa Butts, who's one of three BPA advisors. The others are teachers Maria Wolbert and Bruce Holladay.

"The advisors are great," Ex said. "They help us a lot."

After graduation, Ex plans to attend Northwood University in Midland where she will study advertising and marketing. She's interested in art and hopes to apply her graphic design experience to these fields. "I'm just exploring what's out there," she said.

Scott plans to attend either Purdue or Northwestern and pursue a career in computer engineering.

He noted that he had "no intention" of entering this field prior to his junior year. His father's encouragement and the influence of Karen Cartmill, a former OHS teacher who taught computer programming, led him to discover his love and talent for it.

"Honestly, I didn't think I'd like it. I was really a math guy. I was looking to become a math teacher or (do) something that involved math," he said. "If it wasn't for my dad and for Ms. Cartmill and that class, I don't think I'd have aspirations to go into computer engineering."

Wolbert noted many OHS teachers took part in the effort to propel these BPA students from regionals to states.

"This year, in particular, we had so many different types of contests that I was very pleased with how the entire Oxford staff gave their assistance on an as-needed basis to these students," she said.

From the English teacher who read over an economic research paper to the accounting and math teachers who assisted in calculations, they "just really came together."

"These aren't people who are advisors. They're just people who helped out of the goodness of their hearts," Wolbert said. "It really is the entire building that's helped these students."

BPA regional placers

Advanced Accounting

* Kyla Kurczewski (1st Place)

* Hannah Ex (2nd Place)

* Evelyn Roque-Resinos (5th Place)

Fundamental Word Processing Skills

* Greg Martin (5th Place)

Prepared Speech

* Kaitlyn Barber (3rd Place)

Economic Research Project Team - (2nd Place)

* Mike Harris

* Caitlyn Ulinski (replacing Sean Gilmore)

Graphic Design Promotion

* James Beaupied (3rd Place)

* Melissa Skelton (4th Place)

Interview Skills

* Kati Flanagan (1st Place)

* Anna Stanko (4th Place)

* Elizabeth Wilkins (5th Place)

Web Site Design Team - (2nd Place)

* Joe Green

* Alyssa Hurlburt

* Elise Ormiston (replacing Alex Nuss)

* Nathan Thompson

Broadcast News Production Team - (1st Place)

* Maryann Stockard

* Ryan Myers

* Aidan Schieber (replacing Harrison Lavins)

Financial Analyst Team - (2nd Place)

* Kati Flanagan

* Vinnie Tenaglia

* Alicia Vasquez

* Tyler Scott

Financial Math and Analysis

* 1st Place - Tyler Scott (1st Place)

Computer Programming Concepts

* Tyler Scott (5th Place)

* Michael Johnson (6th Place)

Business Spelling

* Kyla Kurczewski (8th Place)

Business Meeting Management Concepts

* Hannah Ex (10th Place)

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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