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FBLA is goin’ to Cali

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By Brad Bowman

The Henry County High School FBLA team’s performance last week at the state competition earned the team a place at the National Leadership Conference Competition.

The Henry County High School Future Business Leaders of America team went head-to-head last week against 133 schools and 2,000 students in the regional competition bringing home first through fourth place.

Students compete in individual, team and chapter events at the state competitions where they are tested on their business knowledge and skill proficiency. With more than 70 different events, students competed in categories concentrated in computer applications like cyber security, web design, business law and procedure and public presentations.

The Henry County FBLA teams placed first, second, third and fourth against 133 schools, which included Jefferson, Oldham, Nelson, Bullitt and Shelby County Schools.

Henry County High School technology teacher Randy Mitchell teaches web design and has been an advisor with the FBLA students for five years. Mitchell continues to be impressed.

“I teach a much lower level web design class here at the high school and these students are doing a much more sophisticated design for the competition,” Mitchell said. “They basically had to learn this on their own. I have spent time assisting them after class and they should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. They aren’t used to this kind of attention. They did a lot of research on their own.”

The e-Business Web Design team took first place and will go with the Parliamentary Procedure team to Anaheim, Calif., for the FBLA national leadership conference competition.

The web design team — Ashley Pigram, Lyndee Fox and Shannah Lay — designed a web page that allowed users to purchase graduation tickets with seating preferences including row and seat specifications.

“We had to build a website for a business and sell a product, “ Pigram said. “We had a homepage, set up a Paypal account for people to buy the tickets and had a seating chart where people could click on the seat and row to purchase tickets.”

Students spent time outside of school preparing for the competition. Mitchell, Henry County High School business teacher Barney Sutley, and Denise Perry, Director of Student Services, worked with the parliamentary procedure team.

“We don’t teach parliamentary procedure in school,” Sutley said. “This is a team of people that met before school in September and October almost everyday prepping and practicing for these events.”

The parliamentary procedure team — Shelby Abrams, Sydney Abrams, Joey Kenny, Jason Banta and Amber Manns — placed second and will also travel to California for the competitions.

“We had to take a hundred-question test basically over Robert’s Rules of Order. We have 1,200 questions that we study from,” Kenny said. “After you place in the top five at state you get to do your skit which is like a business meeting where we memorize our skit and we get a problem we have to incorporate into our meeting. We are judged on whether we do correct procedures and motions.”

Both the web design and parliament team will travel to compete at the national competition. First place winners received money to offset travel costs from the state. The first and second place winners will raise additional money through fundraisers. The Henry County School Board approved $2,500 to aid in the students’ travel costs.

“What’s cool about this for students is they are doing advanced things, like Mr. Mitchell said, that we don’t teach here at school,” Sutley said. “They get a taste of something and learning more on their own to a level that they are state champions. I’m really proud of them and they deserve to go out there and show their stuff.”

The Henry County FBLA Nametag team consisting of Nikki Buckley, Lexie Bender and Haley Lewis placed third at the state competition. Hannah Doyle placed foruth for public speaking.