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Worthington High School members of the Business Professionals of America (BPA) posing with their awards from the BPA Region Eight Spring Leadership Conference. (ERIN TRESTER/DAILY GLOBE)

Worthington High School BPA students star at regional event

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WORTHINGTON — Eleven students from Worthington High School competed Jan. 31 in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) Region Eight Spring Leadership Conference at the Granite Falls campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

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Of the 11 students, nine are moving on to compete at the BPA State Spring Leadership Conference, set for March 6-8 in Minneapolis.

“It’s really exciting because of the nine students, six of them will be competing in two categories, which is very rare,” said Penny Troe, BPA adviser and business education teacher at Worthington High School. “Most students are only able to compete in one.”

Troe has been a BPA advisor for 17 years, but has been involved in the program for more than 20.

“I joined in high school, and I think BPA is a way for students to gain self-respect and get the courage to compete,” Troe said. “Not everyone is into athletics or theater, so this gives students a different way to get involved.”

BPA is a national student organization for students preparing for careers in the business world.

“It teaches students real world concepts,” Troe explained. “Students that compete in categories like computer programming concepts or banking and finance take tests on those concepts and are scored against other students.”

Students also compete in categories like graphic design promotion and digital media production.

Alicia Khatt, a senior who has been involved with BPA for three years, took first place in the graphic design promotion category with the theme, “Create your Fame.”

“We all had to design a flyer for next year’s national conference,” Khatt said. “I think BPA is all about finding yourself, and I think my theme revolves around that.”

Brianna Mullaney, a senior who is the regional officer and BPA chapter president, has been involved all four years in high school. She took third place in the small business management team along with Ashley Jansma, also a senior.

“My experience was a little bit different than others because I was there to help pass out awards as well as compete, but it’s always a fun time,” Mullaney said.

Senior Chittika Ektanitphong explained how her progress has grown after being involved with BPA throughout her high school career.

“I’ve seen improvement in my placing and my skill,” she said. “Last year the categories were at a moderate level and this year they were advanced — and I still placed — so I’m really proud.”

Students competing at the BPA State Spring Leadership Conference will have the opportunity to advance to the National Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

Here are the results from the BPA Region Eight Spring Leadership Conference:

Alex Tang — second Computer Programming Concepts, first Parliamentary Procedures Concepts, second Medical Office Procedures, third Project Management Concepts, fourth Insurance Concepts, fourth MMR Concepts, seventh Administrative Support Concepts, seventh Business Meeting Management Concepts, and eighth Information Technology Concepts; Alex Tang, Mariah Slocum, Sooksavan Inthirath, Chittika Ektanitphong — first Administrative Support Team; Alicia Khatt — first Graphic Design Promotion, third Digital Media Production and sixth MMR Concepts; Andrea Duarte — third Interview Skills, fifth Prepared Speech (state alternate); Ashley Jansma — fifth Banking and Finance; Brianna Mullaney — third MMR Concepts, fourth Administrative Support Concepts, eighth Banking and Finance, and ninth Project Management Concepts; Brianna Mullaney and Ashley Jansma — third Small Business Management Team (state alternate); Chittika Ektanitphong — fifth Advanced Word Processing Skills; Christopher Mayorga — first Prepared Speech, second Digital Media Production, third Information Technology Concepts, and fifth Computer Programming Concepts; Jamie Le — 10th Administrative Support Concepts, sixth Basic Office Applications (state alternate), sixth Medical Office Procedures (state alternate); Mariah Slocum — first Legal Office Procedures; Sydney Burns — sixth Advanced Word Processing Skills (state alternate) and 10th Banking and Finance; Thipphapone Keovilay — second Prepared Speech and ninth Advanced Word Processing Skills.

Tang, Khatt, Duarte, Jansma, Ektanitphong, Mayorga, Slocum, Inthirath and Keovilay will all be competing at the BPA State Spring Leadership Conference.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

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Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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