Students excel in Regional BPA Leadership Conference
January 20, 2022
MISSOULA – In their second year, the Seeley-Swan High School Business Professional of America Chapter again saw great success at the Region 2 Leadership Conference Jan. 10 in Missoula. Club Advisor SSHS Business Teacher Michele Holmes looks forward to taking the BPA students to the State Leadership Conference in March.
The Blackhawks' BPA Chapter was created in the fall of 2020. According to Holmes, the purpose of the group is to provide personal growth opportunities through education, competition, community service and personal development. The group meets monthly or as needed when prepping for competitions.
Conner Chadwick, Wesley Stevenson, Tru Good, Cora Stone, Hattie Batchelder and Aubrey Matthew attended the Region 2 Leadership Conference. Matthew and Stevenson were the only members that did not participate last year.
Holmes said since this was their second year, they had a lot better feel for how things worked. Projects were scored upon both a technical/specification section and a presentation section.
Holmes said the students really wanted to do a group project this year. Stone, Batchelder and Good teamed up for a Global Marketing Team group project. The project came together over Christmas break and they placed first at Regionals.
Holmes felt like the students' commitment to each other really pushed the group over the top. She was impressed with their organizational skills, figuring out how to meet and put together the project that was competitive.
"They were committed to each other, getting it all done and actually competing," Holmes said. "I commend them all for that."
Matthew and Good also earned a first place last week - Matthew for Graphic Design Promotion and Good in Legal Office Procedures.
Other students that placed included a sixth place for Stone in Medical Terminology Concepts and ninth place for Chadwick in Financial Math and Analysis.
"I was super proud of all of them," Holmes said. "I focus on the commitment of it. I'm more proud that they followed through in what they said they were going to do and learned things along the way [like] how to communicate better with each other, stay organized and how to manage their time. I'm really in it for the life skills."
Since the conference was held in person this year, Holmes was a proctor. She learned more ways to be competitive including following the judges' scoring sheet as closely as possible, effective public speaking and how to approach and talk to the judges. She added that hearing and seeing what everyone was doing "will open their eyes to more things that they can do next year."
The SSHS BPA Chapter also supplied four judges for the competition: Jenny Rohrer (Rohrer Film and Video), Paul Holmes (Kenworth Sales), Kris Holmes (MTMC Medical Sales) and Kris Sweeney (Blackfoot Communications).
"I would like to thank our judges," Holmes said. "This event would not be possible without the help of our many judges in Region 2."
The top eight places in each category compete at the State Leadership Conference in Billings, Montana March 13-15. Since each student can only participate in three events, Holmes said there will be a lot of moving and changing. They are hoping Chadwick will get "bumped up" so he can compete.
Holmes is encouraging the entire chapter to attend State. Even though they may not all be competing, she said there are a lot of other opportunities the students can do including applying to be a conference intern.
"You really get the behind the scenes on what is involved in putting something like this on," Holmes said. "Everyone is excited about the opportunity."
In addition to attending State, Batchelder, Stone, Matthew and Good entered Promotional Photography in the National Virtual Conference. The results will be released later this spring.