Park City High School students net top-10 finishes at national FBLA conference
Teacher: ‘They’re willing to do what it takes to be competitive on a national level’
July 11, 2017
A group of Park City High School students got down to business earlier this month.
Thirteen of them competed at the Future Business Leaders of America's (FBLA) annual National Leadership Conference, which brought more than 12,000 students from around the country to Anaheim from June 28 through July 3. They left a strong impression.
Squaring off against hundreds of teams in each competition, three groups of Park City students finished in the top 10 in their events. Kyle Haas and Eli Levine took fourth place in Entrepreneurship, Connor Burke finished fifth in Organizational Leadership, and Bennett Barbosa and Natalie Haerter earned 10th place in Public Service Announcement.
The other students who participated are: Kirsten Lanigan, Evan Moulton, Joanna Lazzaroni, Olivia Henry, Zina Horman, Amanda Allen, Penn Komisar and Shaun Roberts.
Chris Wood, a business teacher at the high school and the FBLA adviser, said he was thrilled with the results. Given the quality of competition, having three teams notch top-10 finishes represents a big step forward for the FBLA club. He lauded the students for working hard leading up to the conference, despite it falling in the middle of the summer vacation.
"It's really encouraging to see that we have students who not only have the intelligence but that they have developed a work ethic," he said. "They're willing to do what it takes to be competitive on a national level. That's the part that's most impressive to me. These students are really self motivated. They don't just go to nationals and mail it in — they make sure they give themselves a chance to win it."
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Three of the students — Haas, Lanigan and Burke — have graduated, but the rest are slated to return to PCHS next year. Wood said he's eager to work with them again and help them continue to develop the types of skills that will help them excel in college and, eventually, impress employers.
"There's a lot of work that goes into it like just learning the terminology of business and those things," he said. "Even more important, though, is the ability and confidence to use that information and present it to a panel of adult business people. The experience of putting yourself out there and testing your skills against others from all around the country is a big deal."
Haas, who is set to attend the University of California, Berkeley this fall, said he'll be paying attention next year to watch how the returning students progress. But for now, he's still soaking up the joy of ending his high school FBLA career on a such a high note.
"It was incredible to see everyone succeeding," he said.