Multiple BPA members advance to Nationals

Landon Vuagniaux, Sports Editor

In its recent state competition, the EHS Business Professionals of America club dominated its opponents.

11 EHS members placed fifth or higher in their respective events, and junior Sydney Huskey was one of two who took first place; out of 37 others, she won the Business Law and Ethics category, which consisted of a test over the basics of law.

In a team composed of herself, juniors Akira Malik and Hannah Tae, Huskey also placed second in Video Production. The event required them to give an online presentation on conflict resolution strategies to several judges. Huskey said the club’s overall success, however, was not without its difficulties.

“The club itself was unable to recruit new members or have meetings in the same ways as usual…,” Husky said. “We still did a lot of the same things, but the club as a whole has been a dialed-back version of what it has been in the last few years.”

Because of the unpredictable school schedule this year, the team met inconsistently, making the task of competing well much more challenging she said.

Senior Michael Pritchard, who placed second in Network Design with sophomore Josh  Daly, senior Elliot Voss and junior Nicholas McClintock, said the inability to meet weekly was frustrating as it made communication among his group members problematic.

During the competition, contestants and judges used Cisco Webex, which is similar to Zoom, according to Pritchard. The virtual format of the events concerned many of his fellow members.

“[Because] the event was virtual instead of in-person, some of us in BPA feared that people would cheat on the test,” Pritchard said. “One of my fellow classmates felt that he lost his individual event due to cheating online.”

The team couldn’t prove anything without evidence, so they put all their energy into preparing for state and into their performances, he said. 

Leading up to his official presentation, Pritchard purchased a networking book to study and received help from senior Jackson Budwell, who won the Computer Networking Technology event in 2020.

Their efforts paid off, and because Pritchard placed in the top five of his category, he advanced to the national competition.

“I was not expecting to make it to nationals, and I am now nervous about what awaits me [there],” Pritchard said. “I hope my team and I can fulfill the expectations surrounding nationals.”

He will likely further develop his knowledge on the topic by repeating his studying routine while taking additional practice tests before nationals.

Budwell, on the other hand, is going to his second national competition but likely won’t study as much as he did last year. He said competing is more for fun rather than earning trophies.

“Really, I go to BPA for the friends, not the competition,” Budwell said. “The best part about BPA is going to Chicago and having fun with friends at the hotel and nearby malls. Nationals in Anaheim, California, was amazing. I got to go to LA and have the time of my life.”

But this year, the team will attend nationals by sitting at home, logging into their laptops and clicking on a link. Regardless of the highly anticlimactic circumstances, Huskey said she will continue improving and practicing for her upcoming competition.

“…When I first processed [that I had won] I just thought ‘Oh, okay. That’s cool,’” Huskey said. “Later that day I kind of let myself be excited that I had won, but my mindset is more focused on nationals than on the fact that I won at state.”