Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Fairfield students win FBLA State Leadership awards

Apr 09, 2018
PHOTO SUBMITTED Forty-seven Fairfield High School Students attended the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference March 15-17 in Coralville. Twenty-five of them qualified to attend the National Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Forty-seven Fairfield High School students attended the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference March 15-17 in Coralville and are advancing to the National Leadership Conference in 20 events.

According to FHS FBLA adviser Diane Goudy, the number of awards and the actual awards were the strongest ever by the Fairfield chapter.

Goudy said FHS ranked top four places to go to Nationals in 20 events, which represented 25 individual students. Six of those students double-qualified which made them choose in which competitive event to advance.

Currently, 20 FHS students plan to attend Nationals in late June in Baltimore, Maryland, she continued. Several students had a conflict with the dates of other opportunities, such as the Panama trip and the music trip to Europe.

“That speaks to the diverse interests and skill levels of the individual FBLA members,” said Goudy.

Events can be highly specialized and can include objective tests, presentations, interviews, case studies, speeches, and/or combination of more. Awards are given to students in National Categories, which means the top four are eligible for the National Leadership Conference June 28 through July 1, with a chance of a “bump in” for fifth and sixth place. Sometimes a half a point can make the difference between awards, said Goudy.


National Event Awards - The highest award given to an individual is called the Future Business Leader Award which was given to Hermela Gebremariam for her knowledge and for the traits she portrayed in an interview situation. This is the third time in Fairfield’s FBLA history that a student has won this particular designation.

• First-place awards -

Banking and Financial Systems: Kobe Cassens-Navesse, Evan Huff, Drew Martin.

Business Ethics: David Burnett and Devika Pharasi.

Computer Problem Solving: Liam Wells.

Database Design & Application: Laurel Hilger.

Emerging Business Issues: Clare Else, Claire Epperson, Abby Schaefer.

Future Business Leader: Hermela Gebremariam.

Introduction to Business Communication: Clare Else.

Introduction to Public Speaking: Pari Nayak.

Social Media Campaign: Bryanna Popejoy and Cami Schaefer.

Website Design: Jillian Dunlap, Bryanna Popejoy.

• Second-place awards -

Emerging Business Issues: Hermela Gebremariam, Devika Pharasi, Cami Schaefer.

Introduction to Business: Kevin Kretz.

Introduction to Information Technology: Darby Kaska.

Mobile Application Development: Lauren Kraemer and Madison Kraemer.

Public Speaking: Julia Fritz.

Website Design: Amiritha Kumar and Claire Pettit.

• Third-place -

Business Plan: Logan Williams.

Introduction to Business Presentation: Erica Bochman and Claire Pettit.

• Fourth-place -

Business Calculations: Laurel Hilger.

Public Speaking: Destiny Stetson.

Spreadsheet Applications: Allison Godwin.

Technology Practical Applications: Laurel Hilger.

• Fifth-place awards -

Cyber Security: Pari Nayak.

Health Care Administration: Destiny Stetson.

• Sixth-place awards -

Community Service Project: Abyni Garmer and Laurel Hilger.

Computer Applications: Claire Epperson.

Introduction to Business Communication: Lauren Kraemer.


State-level events

State level events are unique to Iowa and are available for awards, but not for advancement to nationals.

Awards were:

• Second-place -

Battle of the Chapters Advanced: Hermela Gebremariam, Cami Schaefer, Logan Williams.

Interviewing and Etiquette Test: Kevin Kretz.

• Fourth-place -

Spelling Relay: David Burnett, Claire Pettit, Devika Pharasi.

• Fifth-place -

NLC Pin Design and Promotion: Claire Epperson and Amiritha Kumar.

NLC T-Shirt Design and Promotion: Alison Godwin & Madison Kraemer.

• Sixth-place -

Business Terminology: Drew Martin.


Conference highlights

In addition, as a chapter, Fairfield brought home the Iowa trophy for third-place in the state based on a point system of number competing and awards earned, as well as the chapter’s well-rounded program.

Logan Williams was recognized as Fairfield’s Who’s Who in the chapter.

Goudy was recognized for her many years of leadership as an FBLA adviser and congratulated for her retirement at the end of this year.

Lori Schaefer-Weaton from Agri-Industrial Plastics was honored as Fairfield FBLA Business Person of the year for her many contributions to the local chapter. She and Agri-Industrial Plastics have repeatedly promoted the program to others, supported the chapter financially, hosted high school students on field trips, and provided mentors at the annual Mentor Night. They are a supporter of the Business Horizons Program offering financial scholarships to local students.

Other members, most of who were first-time attendees, adding to the team spirit and learning from the conference were Puja Baral, Derek Beasley, Dagan Burnett, Gannon Courtright, Drake Drish, Cecilia Faircrest, Carly Ferrel, Aaron Haines, Nellie Higdon, Bailey Hird, Lilly Huff, Trisha Westphal, Bailey Jones, Autumn Lisk, Gracee Lisk, Sai Pullapantual, Jacob Scotton, Chloe Stever, Grace Stever, and Sophia Wallerich.

Chaperones were Ron Haines, Taruna Thapliyal, Joe and Joni Stever.

Financial Chapter Sponsorship for the trophies and judge expenses at state was donated by Hawthorne Communication. Both a financial chapter sponsorship and a scholarship donation was given by Jan and Chuck Espy, formerly of Edward Jones. On the state FBLA level, students or teams who ranked first-place often received a monetary scholarship through donations.

Anyone who would like to contribute to the students’ national expenses can contact Beth Greiner-Ward, Lindsay Lippincott or Taruna Thapiyal of the Friends of Student Business Leaders or Goudy. Contributions are tax deductible.

Parents and community members helped prepare students informally as well as during the Pre-State Showcase March 5. Giving students the opportunity to work with community members who have strong expertise in various areas contributed to the success of the chapter at the state conference.

The Friends of Student Business Leaders, including Greiner-Ward, Lippincott, Thapiyal, Shelly Burnett, Joni Stever, and Stephanie Harward, also contributed to the success.

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