MHS students place high at BPA nationals

MARSHALL – Six Marshall High School students attended the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Indianapolis in early May, and four placed in their national competitions.

BPA gives students who are preparing for business or office careers a chance to take what they have learned in the classroom and compete with other students.

“The kids did really well,” said adviser Brenda Kellen. “It is very difficult to get to nationals, so these kids had to work really hard and study hard.” In order to advance to the national level, students must place in the top five for individual test events, the top three for judged events, or the top two for team events at both regional and state competitions to qualify for nationals.

Tom Wyatt-Yerka, senior, placed second in Human Resource Management; Dan West, senior, placed third in Digital Media Production; Jordan Labat, junior, placed fourth in Advanced Office Systems and Procedures; and Alissa Thielges, senior, placed sixth in Desktop Publishing. Other participants included Elizabeth Her, junior, in Medical Office Procedures and Riley VanOverbeke, junior, in Network Administration using Microsoft.

West said that he created a short video for his competition.

“They have you create a promo video,” West said. This year’s assignment was to “make a video targeted at potential BPA sponsors for next year’s conference. I did a motion graphic, so more animation than video footage,” West said. “It was my first year in BPA, so I was happy to do so well.”

West was also one of three applicants that got a chance to do a short internship with Cybis Communications, the company that set up the production for the event.

“They set up the stage, did the lighting,” West said, “so I got to help with setup and take photos for the events. It was cool to see the whole process of setting up a big event like that.”

Thielges said that the assignment for the 90-minute Desktop Publishing competition was to design marketing materials for a fictional waterpark.

“We had to make a logo and a tagline,” Thielges said. “With the logo we then designed an iPhone case and a ticket to the theme park.”

Thielges said she enjoyed walking around Indianapolis during her visit.

“There was a lot to see and do downtown. I got to try a bunch of new restaurants,” she said.

“We also went to the Indy 500 track and watched the race cars,” Thielges said.

After talking about the long, hard road to nationals, Kellen added, “For them to place at nationals is even more phenomenal. The kids worked really hard.”