AVERY - EHOVE students took a bite of the Big Apple and tasted sweet success at the national Business Professionals of America competition, claiming fifth and seventh places in the nation at the BPA National Leadership Conference May 9 through 13 in New York City.
Placing fifth in the U.S. was the Web Site Development team of Damon Bauer, Alex Wheeler (both of Edison) and Kristi Caldwell (Monroeville). Placing seventh in the U.S. was Christopher VanFleet (Bellevue) for CISCO Systems Administrator. More than 6,000 attended the conference to participate in skill competitions, workshops, general sessions and national officer campaigns and elections.
In total, 17 students from EHOVE's College Tech Prep programs competed at the conference, the largest group in the school's history to be eligible for national level contests.
Business Professionals of America is a national organization for high school, college and middle school students preparing for careers in business and information technology occupations. College Tech Prep is a partnership between EHOVE and Firelands BGSU in which students earn high school and college credits.
The exhilarating experience of traveling to and competing in contests in NYC is likely to last a lifetime for participants, said instructors Dustin Lowery and Michael Laser. "Many students had never been to New York before this," Lowery said. "Making it to the National Level contest is a major achievement because you are competing against the best of the best. The margin of error at the National Level is extremely small since you're competing against each state's best. Our students did a fantastic job."
Laser and Lowery have a proven track record of guiding students to the national level. For the last eight consecutive years, their students have brought home 4th place or better trophies.
Students and instructors voluntarily work over the Christmas holiday, after school and weekends on projects and team performance to earn top berths at state and national competitions.
"I am so proud of our students," Laser said. "They are the best in Ohio. For the seniors, the thrill of knowing they gave their all brings a great deal of satisfaction. For the juniors, they are already saying, 'wait until next year.' They are hungry for another chance to compete at this level."