Business savvy: BV, GF students advance to FBLA state competition
By Kelby Newcomb
Carroll County will be big competition at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference this April. More than 20 Berryville and Green Forest students will be competing against their peers from across the state.
Berryville High School had nine students qualify for state.
Sarah Withers placed second in Healthcare Administration. Harley Tittsworth placed third in Computer Problem Solving. Sabrina Richardson placed third in Graphic Design. Bailey Doss placed fourth in Job Interview. Christian Lemus placed fourth in Public Speaking. Sandy Carloman placed fourth in Advertising. CJ Escobar placed fifth in Spreadsheet Application. Charity Davidson placed fifth in Publication Design. Ella McMellon placed fifth in Word Processing.
Doss said she felt proud to qualify for state.
“My interview score was really good, but my resume and cover letter scores weren’t,” she said. “That’s the part I want to improve on for state and improve on in general so that when I’m going into future jobs I’m able to really show my skills.”
The students said the competition is more intense at the state level, so they will be working hard to prepare for it.
“I’m going to dig into more details,” Withers said. “I work in healthcare, so I’m exposed to Healthcare Administration a bit more than some students. But I still need to study more.”
“I wasn’t as prepared as I would like at district,” Lemus said, “so I need to prepare more for state.”
Davidson said she will be using the judges’ notes from district to improve her performance.
“The main thing was my confidence level,” she said. “It’s my first year in FBLA, so I didn’t know what to expect when I went in. Now that I do, I think I’ll be more prepared.”
McMellon agreed, saying she knows what she needs to work harder on now that she has seen what the competition is like.
FBLA adviser Amanda Trammell said she was proud of her students.
“We had nine make it to state from district,” she said, “and the ones who didn’t place have taken it upon themselves to enter new divisions that start at the state competition. They’re more intense and take a little more time.”
The students said they are looking forward to the state leadership conference.
“My favorite part is hanging out with my friends and meeting new people,” Tittsworth said.
“I hope we all do our best and place well,” Doss said, “because we’re all interested in some aspect of business because it will be useful in all our lives. I hope we show everyone that Berryville is competition.”
Green Forest had 11 students qualify for state.
Kendall DeMeyer placed first in Accounting I. Caleb Marroquin placed first in Agribusiness. Carter Boggs placed third in Personal Finance. Todd Wellborn placed third in Business Communications. Tyeisha Poyner placed third in Journalism. Miguel Preciado placed fourth in Accounting II. Madison Smalley placed fourth in Political Science. Aron Divall placed fifth in Business Calculations. Jacob McMahan placed fifth in Economics. Tess Long placed sixth in Introduction to Business Communications. Kevin Lopez placed sixth in Computer Problem Solving.
The students said preparing for district required a lot of studying. They said they went to teachers for help, and FBLA advisor Marilyn Bonham gave them study materials and practice tests to help them prepare for the competition.
“I’m in Accounting I right now, and we’re on chapter nine,” DeMeyer said. “There’s like 20 chapters, so I had to take the book home, read through it and study a lot for the test. I took a lot of practice tests. For state, I’m going to go through the rest of the book with more attention to detail.”
Lopez said Computer Problem Solving involved studying how hardware and computers work.
“It was kind of tough because I didn’t know much about it,” he said. “[Bonham] printed off some papers for me. I studied and learned more about it.”
Marroquin said Bonham also gave him practice materials, and agriculture teacher Keith Kilbourn taught him some things about agribusiness he didn’t know.
“He also gave me a book on agribusiness that I’ve been reading and learning things from,” Marroquin said.
Boggs said he had planned to compete in economics again but found out he couldn’t compete in the same division twice.
“That threw me for a loop,” he said. “Mrs. Bonham got me some personal finance study materials, and I’m actually doing a little personal finance in my stats class. Since I got third in district, I feel like I know what I missed and know what to study for state.”
Long said she was proud to qualify for state her first year in FBLA. She said Bonham gave her style books on journalism and study packets to prepare for Introduction to Business Communications.
“I’m probably going to study more and practice more online for state,” she said.
Wellborn said he mostly did online practice tests for Business Communications.
“It was a lot of English and grammar and that kind of stuff,” he said. “That’s always been my strong suit.”
Smalley said she had an extra challenge with Political Science because this was the first year it was part of the FBLA competition.
“It’s the first year they’ve had this test, so they didn’t really have study materials,” she said. “I looked up some basic terms and studied some political science major stuff. I’m going to study more for state.”
Bonham said she was impressed by how well her students did.
“I knew the kids I had and I was expecting good results,” she said, “but I was really amazed that we did so well. Now they’re going against the top five or six students from every district, and the top four will go on to nationals.”
The FBLA National Leadership Conference will be in San Antonio, Texas, this July.
The students said they are excited to compete at state and hope they can advance to nationals.
“I think in all the years I’ve been in FBLA this is the most students we’ve had qualify,” Boggs said.
“I feel like we all get closer at the state level,” Smalley said. “We get to spend a lot more time together.”