Wolford, Rugby FBLA chapters send students to national conference
Two Wolford High School students will represent their town and state at the Future Business Leaders of America 2019 National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas this summer.
Seniors Koby Marchus and Zach Morrow attended the North Dakota FBLA State Leadership Conference earlier this month along with schoolmates Kaitlin Slaubaugh, Kyle Yoder, Aston Wendland and Emily Yoder.
According to a press release sent by state conference organizers, more than 70 FBLA school chapters participated in the event, “where approximately 1,300 students had the opportunity to test their business skills against other students from around the state.”
The release continued, “The most exciting aspect of the conference is the competitive events program. Students have the opportunity to test the business skills they’ve learned in the classroom in a variety of individual, team and chapter events. Students can enter events such as accounting, computer applications, public speaking, job interview, website design, or business ethics. The culmination of the competitive events program is the awards ceremony where winners are recognized for their accomplishments. In addition to the competitive events program, students had the opportunity to hear from ND FBLA alums Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh, who make up the band Tigerlily.
Wolford High’s Kyle Yoder placed 6th in the cyber security competition, while Wendland placed 8th in the Intro to FBLA event. Emily Yoder earned 6th place in the Intro to FBLA event.
Wolford High’s Slaubaugh earned 8th place in the political science event, while teammate Marchus earned 2nd place in the same event, securing a spot on the North Dakota FBLA team traveling to the national competition.
“It was mainly about how governments work, and how our government works. There were some questions on foreign governments, about interactions between governments and a little bit of economics,” Marchus said of the political science competition.
Marchus said the political science event consisted of a written test. He also earned a spot on the computer applications team, placing 3rd in that category.
He said of the computer applications event, “That had two components. That had a written test, and then I also had to complete specific jobs on the computer, and then submit the results (to the judges).”
Marchus said he looked forward to competing on the national level, and this year’s FBLA National Conference appearance will be his second.
“It was an interesting experience,” Marchus said of last year’s competition, held in Baltimore, MD. “They have people from China; they have small groups from overseas places, too. They have people from all over the world there.”
“It was pretty wild,” he continued. ” There were a lot of people there. Probably like 15,000. They had it in a convention center. The award ceremony was in a huge auditorium where they would have rows of five screens for every section going back, and they would have six sets of those screens or more.”
Morrow will also represent Wolford High at the national conference. “I placed 3rd in securities and investments,” he noted.
“It was a written test, with multiple choice answers,” Morrow continued. “You have to know a little bit about stocks and bonds, and other securities and investments, and differences between certain bonds and stocks.”
When asked how he felt representing the tiny town of Wolford, population 36, Morrow smiled, “It feels pretty good representing Wolford, because not many people know where it is, and if somebody asks what school you’re from, you have to give them (the names of) nearby towns, because no one knows where Wolford is.”
Marchus agreed, noting, “Between state and nationals, it’s really cool because there’s a huge difference. Because when you go to state, you have your group as your school, but then, when you go to nationals, the group becomes your whole state.”
Both teens said they will compete on teams of four for their events. The three other students on their teams will also represent North Dakota.
The FBLA National Leadership Conference will be held June 29-July 4.
Three award winners from the North Dakota Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference and Competition will represent Rugby and their home state at the national level in San Antonio June 28-July 2.
Two of the award recipients attend Rugby High School, and one attends Rugby Junior High School.
Megan Schmaltz, an eighth grader, was recognized at the state conference with the bronze level of the LEAD award, which she described as a written project with paragraphs about different business-related topics. Her first-place score on a written test on business etiquette earned her a spot in this summer’s national competition.
Schmaltz said she has never visited Texas, and she’s never been to a national FBLA conference. “I think it’s going to be really exciting and fun to go (to the national conference),” she said. “I’m looking forward to going and getting to know different people from other places, and going to those spots we’re visiting in Texas.”
Senior Rylee Kuntz earned a spot in the national competition for her 4th place score on a written personal finance test.
“It’s like questions about things like what’s on a credit report, or different investments and things like that,” she said. The test had topics familiar to her as well. “There’s a lot of stuff I knew from my consumer ed. class,” Kuntz noted.
Kuntz plans to attend North Dakota State University next year with a pre-pharmacy major.
Kuntz was also recognized at the state conference with a Business Achievement award for reaching the “Leadership” level of the program. Kuntz explained students begin working on projects through FBLA in their first year with the organization, and the work they complete can earn an award named for each part of FBLA’s name.
“You start working as a freshman, working on your Future level, and the Business level, and I just completed the Leader level. There are different activities that you do, and you use your business skills to complete them. I would be writing a news report, or something like that, using the correct format. And there are like 10 or 13 of them that you have to do, and I finished that,” Kuntz explained.
Kuntz also described the Who’s Who award she won. “For Who’s Who, you get nominated by your advisor, and it’s people who helped out with the chapter.”
“I’ve been to the Fall National Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin two years ago, but it’s not like the one where you go to compete,” Kuntz said. “It’s just where you go to workshops. But this is the first time I’m going to a competition, because I placed for nationals.”
“I’m really excited (to attend the national conference this summer). I like traveling. It will be fun to see (the attractions). We’re going to Sea World and Six Flags, so we’ll have some sightseeing things to do while we go to the conference as well,” Kuntz added.
Senior Jenna Wangler will go to San Antonio to receive an award on the national conference stage. She said she will not participate in any of the competitions.
“I completed the “America” level of the Business Achievement Awards, so that qualified me,” Wangler said of her accomplishment.
“I’ve gone to nationals for the last two years,” Wangler noted. “I’ve never been on stage before.”
Wangler said of her appearance onstage before an audience of thousands at the national conference, “I think I’ll be nervous, but I was a state officer last year, so I was on stage (at state competitions) a lot.”
“So” she continued with a smile, “I don’t think it’ll be that bad. The lights will be so bright, I don’t think I’ll even notice.”
Wangler said she plans to attend Minot State University next year with plans to become a radiologic technician.
“I’m excited, Wangler continued. I have a lot of friends from even just the state of North Dakota, so it’ll be fun to see them, and hang out with them. And I’m excited for all the tourist stuff we get to do.”
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