The Washington State Future Business Leaders of America organization just wrapped up its annual state competition, but it was unlike any that had come before. It was entirely virtual, with students submitting videos of their presentations online instead of appearing before a panel of judges for a live presentation.
Freeman High School FBLA chapter adviser Scott Moore said he’s glad the competition got to go on, but it was bittersweet. “The part I enjoy a lot is the on -the -spot presentations,” he said. “That’s where all the fun is, in my opinion. At the same time, they had to come up with something.”
In a live presentation, things can go wrong and how a student responds to that can be important. It can be a test of perseverance and aplomb. Moore said that by doing it virtually, kids missed out on the gut-clenching excitement and worry as they wait their turn to go before the judges. “These videos, they can do it 400 times,” he said.
Moore said he didn’t help students with their presentations and didn’t provide any equipment. The FBLA chapters gave their members tips and ideas as to how to do the presentations, but other than that, “it’s totally them,” he said.
Students didn’t just do a test, submit a video and call it a day. The event lasted from April 15 to May 7, with a full schedule of keynote speakers, videos and peer interaction.
“For those that really took advantage of it, there were a lot of opportunities,” he said.
But it was still a different experience. The trips to compete in state and national competitions always include a lot of socializing with students from around the country and some sightseeing.
“It’s the hotel,” he said. “It’s the screaming with 2,000 people. It’s making the connections. It’s all about the experience.”
Moore said his students took it in stride, even if they wished for the full experience. “They’re all disappointed,” he said. “For some it was their first opportunity to go to state, to nationals. For some, it was their last.”
Freeman has been a perennial powerhouse in the regional and state FBLA competitions and this year was no different. Senior Kylie Nelson took first in both broadcast journalism and public speaking at state. Freshman Jack Schneider took first place in introduction to public speaking and junior Ben Chadduck took fourth place in job interview. All three won an invitation to compete at the Virtual National FBLA Leadership Conference in June.
Other students originally named as alternates who have now advanced to the national competition are sophomore Liberty Barber, who took sixth place in client service; sophomore Sydney McLean, who took fifth place in introduction to public speaking; and sophomore Ashley Boswell, who took sixth place in introduction to business communications.
Moore said students get to move up when someone above them decides not to compete in that category. For example, Kylie Nelson took first place in two categories, but students are only allowed to compete in one category at nationals. She chose public speaking, which freed up a spot for an alternate competitor in broadcast journalism.
Those who are currently alternates for the national competition are Jake Amend, Taylor Denenny, Lily Jones, Reagan Sevigney and Masha Stuart.
Moore said the entire Northeast Region did well. “We did really well in our region,” he said. “We have great schools, great advisers and great students.”
Though Freeman has traditionally been well represented at the state and national competitions, Moore said there’s no real secret to their success. “I have good kids,” he said. “Our philosophy is that you’re going to make new friends, you’re going to have fun, you’re going to get out of class and if you’re not careful, you just might learn something.”
State FBLA results
The top four places in each event qualify for nationals, but only first place in the middle level events and parliamentary procedure advance. The national conference will be a virtual event in June.
Banking and Financial Systems – Fourth place: Austin Hubbard, Logan Kettner and Kellan Watson (Liberty High School). Seventh: Ashlynn Archer (St. John-Endicott High School). Eighth Beckett Schoenleber (Cheney High School).
Computer Applications – First: Julian De Los Santos (Cheney). Second: Steven Johnson (Cheney).
Database Design and Applications – First: Julian De Los Santos (Cheney).
Entrepreneurship – Second: Dylan Doney and Lucy Nester (Cheney). Fourth: Ashlynn Archer (St. John-Endicott). Tenth: Ethan Downing, Danielle Hillyard and Sawyer Tracht (East Valley High School).
Help Desk – Sixth: Tyler Mathison (Northwest Christian). Seventh Joaquin Mendoza (Cheney).
Hospitality Management – Second: Katheran Gingrich (Ritzville High School). Fifth: Ashey Boswell and Reagan Sevigney (Freeman High School). Eighth: Allison Pugh (Colfax High School). Ninth: Jake Amend and Kylie Nelson (Freeman).
Management Decision Making – Third: Dylan Doney (Cheney).
Management Information Systems – Third: Dylan Doney, Holden McNaul and Shane Moore, Cheney. Fifth: Brent Belsby, Joaquin Mendoza and Ben Schreiber, Cheney. Seventh: Johnathan Ramsey and Cameron Teresi, Cheney. Ninth: J.T. Gasper, Steven Johnson and Hope Schneider, Cheney.
Marketing – Ninth: Macie Hopkins and Kristof Panke (Davenport High School).
Network Design – First: Holden McNaul and Joaquin Mendoza, Cheney. Second: Skyler Hanson and Shane Moore, Cheney. Third: J.T. Gasper, Joaquin Mendoza and Ben Schreiber, Cheney. Fifth: Brent Belsby, Johnathan Ramsey and Cameron Teresi, Cheney.
Parliamentary Procedure – Fourth: Austin Hubbard, Logan Kettner, Sam Nelson, Marisa Powers and Kellan Watson (Liberty).
Partnership with Business Project – First: Caitlyn Schuh, Emily Scrupps and Maddie Wagner, (Odessa High School). Second: Braydon Duff, Macie Hopkins and Kristof Panke (Davenport). Third: Jasmine Sprague and Jamie Sprague (Cheney).
Sports and Entertainment Management – First: Benjamin Fetters, Carter Hosking and Rodney McGee (East Valley). Third: Rachel Nygren (Ritzville). Fifth: Danielle Hillyard and Sawyer Tracht (East Valley).
Spreadsheet Applications – Second: John Gasper (Cheney). Fourth: Skyler Hanson (Cheney). Seventh: Dillon Thieren (Liberty). Tenth: Gunnar Knutson (Davenport).
Word Processing – First: Charlie Johnson (Liberty). Second: Julian De Los Santos (Cheney).
American Enterprise Project – Third: Kaya Curo, Hayden Miller and Grace Nelson (Odessa).
Broadcast Journalism – First: Riley Hawley and Kylie Nelson (Freeman).
Business Ethics – Eighth: Sprague (Cheney).
Business Financial Plan – Fourth: Marcus King, Emily Scrupps and Camden Weber (Odessa). Sixth: Gavin Boggs, Tyler Furman and Winston Telford (Davenport).
Business Plan – Fifth: Zack Bruce, Evan Gunning and Jesse Raugust (Davenport).
Client Service – Sixth: Liberty Barber (Freeman). Tenth: Masha Stuart (Freeman).
Community Service Project – Second: Ireland Luiten, Ashleyn Neilsen and Emily Scrupps (Odessa).
Digital Video Production – First: Tanner Noller (Northwest Christian). Fifth: Jacob Kessinger, Nathan Mitchell and Andre Mounadir (East Valley). Ninth: Tenaya Belsby and Nia Guest (Cheney).
Electronic Career Portfolio – First: John Gasper (Cheney). Third: Maddy Wagner (Odessa).
Future Business Leader – Third: Madeline Tate (Colfax). Fourth: Charlie Johnson (Liberty). Seventh: Allison Pugh (Colfax).
Graphic Design – Ninth: Mia Baldwin (Cheney).
Hack-a-thon – First: JT Gasper, Steven Johnson, Marisa Mendoza (Team Emerge of Cheney); Tyler Mathison (Northwest Christian).
Impromptu Speaking – Seventh: Liberty Barber (Freeman). Eighth: Beckett Schoenleber (Cheney).
Introduction to Business Presentation – Fourth: Charleigh Cornett, Emily Scrupps and Chloe Winkler, Odessa High School. Seventh: Taylor Denenny, Lily Jones and Jack Schneider, Freeman High School. Eighth: Tiana Tran, College Place High School.
Introduction to Public Speaking – First: Jack Schneider (Freeman). Fifth: Sydney McLean (Freeman). Sixth: Charlie Rajewski (Cheney).
Job Interview – Fourth: Ben Chadduck (Freeman).
Local Chapter Annual Business Report – First: Charleigh Cornett, Grace Nelson and Chloe Winkler (Odessa).
Public Speaking – First: Kylie Nelson (Freeman). Fourth: Gwendolyn Skeen (East Valley). Fifth: Tyler Mathison (Northwest Christian).
Publication Design – Fourth: Ashleyn Neilsen, Grace Nelson and Maddy Wagner (Odessa).
Sales Presentation – First: Grace Greenwalt (Ritzville). Third: John Gasper (Cheney).
Social Media Campaign – Fourth: Lucy Nester (Cheney).
Website Design – Fifth: Grace Greenwalt (Ritzville); 10: Ryan Utley (Davenport).
Critical Thinking – Second: Gretchen Schmitt, Westwood Middle School.
Elevator Speech – Third: Nicolas Rojas Nunez, Westwood. Fourth: Kyleigh Greer, Westwood. Sixth Gretchen Schmitt, Westwood.
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