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Great Bend FBLA travels to Topeka for conference
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Shane Dicks - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Niederee, Reynolds elected to board

Two Great Bend High School students are getting an early start in business and state politics all in one fell swoop.
Sophomore Sarah Niederee was elected as the 2013-2014 Future Business Leaders of America State President and Junior Zachary Reynolds was elected the District V vice president. Both are students of Cody Lee, GBHS business teacher and FBLA sponsor.
Niederee served on the state board as editor this year, so this is her second year as a state officer.
The campaigns and election were part of the FBLA state leadership conference in Topeka last weekend. Niederee won with the campaign slogan, “A New Era Starts with Sarah.” It featured a science-fiction theme complete with an Imperial Stormtrooper from “Star Wars.”
Reynolds’s campaign theme revolved around music and used the slogan, “Get on the Zach Track.” He had guitar picks printed with his campaign slogan and he handed them out to people as they came by his booth.
“It is always a joy to see the students support one another in their campaigns,” Lee said. “FBLA can bring so much out in students. Some of them begin to come out of their shells and grow with the organization.
“By the end of the campaigning, even some of our shyest students were out there actively campaigning for Sarah and Zachary,” she said. “They hand out brochures, signs and other items for our candidates when they are not competing in their events.
“The campaign rally is crazy,” Lee explained. “It’s literally shoulder to shoulder full of kids in the campaign areas. Our kids were dressed up in costumes and actively supporting one another.”
Also at the competition, Shane Dicks from Community Bank of the Midwest, was publicly recognized as an active supporter of the local FBLA organization .
“Our GBHS FBLA Chapter honored him as our Business Person of the Year,” Lee said. “He was able to attend the awards ceremony at state to accept his award.
“Shane has been a huge advocate for our students this year,” Lee noted. “He gave some great feedback and support for our kids, not only in their competitive events, but also in basic skills every students needs in life such as how to present yourself during a formal job interview.”

It was a great showing at regional competition and an even better one at state.
After placing high at regionals, more than three dozen Great Bend High School students travelled to the state Future Business Leaders of America leadership conference in Topeka last weekend. Ten scored high enough to move on to national competition in Anaheim, Calif., this summer.
Cody Lee, Great Bend High School business teacher and FBLA sponsor, also noted that Sophomore Sarah Niederee was elected state president and Junior Zachary Reynolds was voted to serve as the District V vice president. (See adjacent story.)
“The most we had ever qualified for nationals was five members, which is great, and we doubled that this year,” Lee explained. “We have some amazing students here at GBHS and I appreciate the community support for this outstanding organization.
“Some of our students began preparing for nationals in November, meeting once or twice a week on their own time outside of class,” Lee said.
“Many of these students I don’t even have in class, so it is fun to see their dedication to growing as individuals,” she said. “They had a goal and they worked to achieve that goal for months. I am so thankful their dedication and effort they put in paid off.
“The students have learned so much from their projects. One group in particular has many of the resources they would need to open their own business and could probably do it,” Lee noted.
Those students headed to nationals include:
First place, Business Financial Plan, Sarah Niederee, Sara McAfee and Jami McVay; First place, E-Business, Alec Witt, Colton Lagerman and Greg Burley; First place, Healthcare Administration, Alejo Carbajal; Second place, Electronic Career Portfolio, Morgan Choitz; Third place, Computer Problem Solving, Grant Harris; and Zachary Reynolds, District V vice president.
Other students placing at state were third place, Computer Game Programming, Bryce Divis, Jake Kohman and Michael Sisson; third place, Marketing, Nick Porter, Jonathan Baker and Derion Burnside; and fifth place, Intro to Business Communications, Natasha Bieker.
It will cost approximately $1,000 per student to attend nationals, Lee noted. If any group is interested in supporting FBLA, students are available to present their projects.
“It would give them more practice for nationals, plus community members could see exactly what they have been working on,” Lee said. “The more practice they can get, the better!”
Anyone interested in more information may call Lee, 793-1521.