TOPEKA — Last week, 20 Great Bend High School students traveled to Topeka for the state Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Leadership Conference. The students competed in 21 business and career-related events.
Eight team members received awards and seven placed high enough to qualify for national competition. The four-day 2017 National Leadership Conference will be held in Anaheim, California, in June. GBHS students will compete with thousands of future business leaders from across the nation. In addition, they will have the opportunity to build leadership skills and learn about issues facing the business world through exhibits, speakers and breakout sessions.
Those qualifying for nationals included the team of Kaitlyn Moos and Rossiel Reyes, who took 1st place in Graphic Design. Other national qualifiers included: Kaitlin Adams, 4th in Business Law; Ashtin Heath, 4th in Health Care Administration and 3rd in Impromptu Speaking; Lindsey Newman, 3rd in Business Communications; Allison Regehr, 3rd in Organizational Leadership; and Wyatt Rugan, 3rd in Personal Finance.
AJ Roberts received recognition for finishing 9th in Introduction to Business Procedures but did not qualify to compete at Nationals. Heath also placed 8th in Public Speaking and Regehr was awarded honors for placing 5th in Insurance and Risk Management and 10th in Organizational Communications.
“Of the 20 competitors this year, I have only had three of these students in my classes,” said FBLA advisor Andy Negaard. “I get to know the events and do my best to get to know these students to try to match them up with events that I believe they will be successful in and enjoy. I then assist them in finding study materials, encourage them and push them to do their best. Their success can be attributed to the hard work of all the teachers in the building. It does truly take a village.”
Newly elected State Representative and GBHS alum, Tory Arnberger, shared some of her personal time to offer advice and encouragement to the squad from Great Bend. Arnberger listened to practice presentations and shared insight from her own experiences as a national qualifier in FBLA during her time at Great Bend High School.
Great Bend is one of 125 schools in the state with active FBLA programs. The official goal of FBLA is “To bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.”
“Future Business Leaders of America is one of many ways our school is working to help our students develop their strengths with real world experiences so that they can be successful after high school,” Negaard said.