(Courtesy photo) Members of the Business Professionals of America group from the Tuscola Technology Center at the state competition in March in Grand Rapids. Twelve students from BPA will be going to the national competition in Dallas, May 9 to May 13.

(Courtesy photo)
Members of the Business Professionals of America group from the Tuscola Technology Center at the state competition in March in Grand Rapids. Twelve students from BPA will be going to the national competition in Dallas, May 9 to May 13.

Students at the Tuscola Technology Center involved in Business Professionals of America (BPA) and Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) are headed to national competitions, one in April and one in May.

Seven DECA students will be in Atlanta from April 20 to April 25. Opening sessions for the competition will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, with the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) taking place at local hotels.

DECA is a youth club for students interested in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. In the United States, there are over 215,000 members.

“We have a couple different events that students will be working on at nationals,” Tech Center Marketing and Business Management Instructor Cindy Olson said.

Rebecca Morrish, a senior at Cass City High School, is working on a 30-page, school-based enterprise (SBE) project consisting of a detailed report about the tech center store, the Cleaver Corner Store. She will attend an academy one day in Atlanta to train on how to efficiently run the store.

Alyssa Fritz attends Reese High School and will compete in a role-play event, meaning she will be given a scenario and have 10 minutes to come up with a sales presentation.

“I’m also competing in a restaurant and food service management event and will get anything from covering fast food to a hotel restaurant,” Fritz said. “I came in first in my heat at states.”

Olson said Fritz is the first student from the tech center during her ten years teaching there to win at the state competition for a role play event.

Fritz and Morrish qualified for nationals after taking part in the state competition March 11 at Cobo Center in Detroit. Over 4,000 students competed at the event. Luke Losee, Nick Curtis and Ian Elbers, all from Reese High School, will be on a team at nationals participating in the stock market competition. They are responsible for submitting a paper and making a detailed presentation.

“All three of us were on a team for the stock market game,” Losee said. “We were given $100,000 of fictitious money and we got to invest in different stocks, bonds and mutual funds.”

The top 25 teams from the central region – Michigan, Ohio, North Dakota and South Dakota – advanced to nationals. Losee, Curtis and Elbers placed first in Michigan and second in the region.

“Luke is more of the stock market guy and I work more on the paper and presentation part,” Curtis said. “He is the man behind the curtain. He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.”

Ashley Gary and Logan Nelson, both from Vassar High School, will represent the tech center’s chapter of DECA at leadership training.

“I’m very excited and so proud of these students,” Olson said. “They’ve worked so hard and there is a little more work to do, but I know they are going to do a great job representing our school.”

On April 30, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., a soup supper will take place at the tech center to help with fundraising for DECA’s trip.

Separate from DECA, the BPA team from the tech center will be going to Dallas from May 9 to May 13. Competition will be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center.

Twelve BPA students from the tech center are scheduled to compete. It is the first time 12 will be going to nationals.

BPA is a national career and technical student organization consisting of more than 50,000 members from over 2,700 chapters. Chapters are located in high schools, career/technical centers, postsecondary technical institutions, junior and community colleges, and colleges and universities.

“Being in BPA really helps with networking and getting good experience,” Reese High School student Zack Olson said. “You get experience in competitive academic events which isn’t offered in a lot of cases in the schools around here. You get to travel and hang out with friends. It’s a great time.”

Zack Olson qualified for nationals in the Ambassador Torch Award competition.

State competition took place March 15 to March 18 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. Nearly 2,000 students competed in the event.

“From states, it’s the top five individuals and top two teams that move on to nationals,” Computer Technology Management Instructor Amy Schuette said.

The computer animation team of Anthony Pawloski, Dillon Andress, Chassidy Stornello and Ian Atwell took first place at the local regional competition and third place at states and is heading to Dallas.

Ryan Kern, a senior from Reese High School, is the tech center’s BPA vice president and works on fundraising efforts for the trip. He qualified in the IT Concepts category and in the Ambassador Torch Award.

“I really like being in BPA to hang out with these guys, getting the time to talk with them and meeting kids from different schools is a great thing,” Kern said.

Grace Kern, (no relation to Ryan) also a senior at Reese High School, took first place in administrative support concepts and is the treasurer of the BPA chapter.

Catalin David, a foreign exchange student from Romania who attends Cass City High School, took second place at states in C++ programming. David has been in America since August.

C++ is a general-purpose programming language widely used in the programming industry. It has imperative, object-oriented and generic programming features, while also providing facilities for low-level memory manipulation.

“I think BPA is great because one of my favorite things is to compete with students from different schools,” David said. “Back home in Romania, they teach us C++.”

Other students in BPA heading to Texas are Nate Leach from Vassar High School, Connor Cetas from Akron-Fairgrove High School, Darren Hutchinson from Cass City High School and Tristian Sartor from Millington High School.

Between now and nationals, students involved in BPA will work on fundraising. Schuette said the group has to come up with $10,000 for the trip.