More than a dozen Hayes High School students in Business Professionals of America will be heading to the organization’s state competition next month with their sights set on earning their way to nationals in Chicago this spring.
BPA held its regional awards ceremony at Willis Education Center last week and selected the top winner in every category to move on to the state competition. Ann Kanning, the business management instructor at Hayes and one of the school’s BPA advisors, said Thursday the awards ceremony was planned and run by six students at Hayes, all of whom served as BPA officers for the first time.
The six officers are President Presley Christopher, Vice President Claire Artemus, Secretary Kyra Wheeler, Treasurer Josh Russell, Historian Connor Dutton and Parliamentarian Eric Gitson.
Kanning said the officers did a good job at representing the school.
“Our Hayes officers set up the entire awards ceremony and represented Hayes and its entirety (so well),” Kanning said. “(I was told by a teacher) that it was the best ceremony in 18 years. They were just unbelievable. … Very professional, the definition of Business Professionals of America. This is the first year we’ve ever had officers, and every officer won their competition. They were working hard all first semester.”
Kanning said she was “elated and excited” to see 17 students advance to the state competition, which takes place on March 7 in Columbus. Kanning added she is looking forward to the competition but is still nervous.
“They are all so good that I want them to be rewarded for their hard work,” Kanning said. “Only the top three from state get to go. It’s excessively competitive.”
Kanning said Ohio has one of the largest BPA programs in the country, meaning students face the “heaviest competition” and sometimes win competitions by single points.
“(It puts you on) the edge of your seat,” Kanning said.
Last year, Kanning had two students, then sophomores Claire Artemus and Presley Christopher, qualify for the national competition. She said their success at the state level has inspired other students in the BPA program.
“I think they’re going to have other people joining them this year,” Kanning said. “They’re getting their classmates excited. People are signing up for classes to get involved in BPA, I think we’ll have more people going this year.”
Students will find out if they are headed to Chicago after the state awards ceremony on March 8.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.