2 Olentangy students get to national competition


Two students who attend Olentangy high schools and the Delaware Area Career Center discussed their high finishes in a business competition at a recent Olentangy school board meeting.

“We both made it to nationals in Anaheim, for career-minded teens,” said Gwendolyn Cecil, a recent graduate of Olentangy High School. “It was fun to participate and meet new people.”

Cecil and senior Lexa Funderburg of Liberty High School competed at the Business Professionals Association National Leadership Competition on May 6-10. The organization offers students a chance to compete in various business fields as a way to sharpen skills for future careers. Both Cecil and Funderburg, who spent half their days at the career center, became active in the association.

At the urging of a teacher, Cecil competed in extemporaneous speech. She practiced twice a week with faculty by pulling two topics out of a bag, picking one, writing out a speech outline in 10 minutes and giving the speech in 5 minutes. Cecil placed first in the regional and statewide competitions, and finished seventh in the nationals out of 49 competitors.

“I not only learned bigger words, but also how to present myself in a professional setting,” Cecil said.

Funderburg competed in digital design, placing second in the state competition, and then finished second nationally.

“I had 90 minutes to create a logo, and a four-page interactive website layout using InDesign (software),” Funderburg said. “I had never done that before, which was an incredible experience. The skills I acquired are very marketable.”

“They did a great job, not only in the competition, but representing Olentangy,” said Superintendent Wade Lucas.

“I would highly encourage our students to look at the career center, because our programs tie in really well with the programs we have at our home high schools,” said Julie Wagner-Feasel, who serves on both school boards.