Students compete at BPA state competition


Photo used with permission from Martin Huedepohl

The six students who represented Hayes in the BPA state competition on March 10 and 11.

Kaitlyn Gorsuch, Editor-in-Chief

On March 10 and 11, six students represented Hayes at the Ohio state competition for Business Professionals of America (BPA).
“Business Professionals of America is a national organization that allows students to compete in various business competitions to gain leadership skills and just dive into a particular competition,” business teacher Ann Kanning said.
Students at Hayes are required to join BPA if they are taking a year-long business class.
“We offer quite a few different business classes through Hayes,” business teacher Martin Huedepohl said. “Some of them are just introduction classes to help students figure out if they enjoy business, and then we also offer some year-long classes that are also College Credit Plus.”
Students are able to pick from a variety of topics at the beginning of the year. Then, they have to research their topic and do the elements that are required for their event, such as writing a paper and creating a presentation.
“I had never presented a project like that before, so it was very different from school projects, things like that,” junior Sam Hall said. “I actually had to do a seven page paper, which I had never done before. A lot of people helped me with that, a lot of family and friends, my teacher Huedepohl, they were all a big part of preparing for the presentation.”
Hall placed second in his event at the state competition, which qualifies him to go to Nationals, which will be held in Dallas, Texas, May 4-8.
To go to States, a student must place first in their event at the regional level which for Hayes students includes five schools from the surrounding area. Then, to go to Nationals, they need to place top three at States in the event.
The students get a certain amount of time to compete, and at each competition the students are graded on a nationwide rubric and have to follow all of the same guidelines.
When Hall found out his placing he was shocked.
“I was sitting in my chair and then they called my name up, so I’m like: ‘Top 10 all right. Then they said second place and I’m like, ‘Whoa,’” he said.
During the state competition, which is held at the Columbus Convention Center, each school has a section where the students practice for their presentation and go over what they will do in front of the judges.
“It’s just really a lot of energy. [The students] can all walk around and meet each other and just kind of give feedback,” Kanning said.
Joining BPA also helps students to learn important skills.
“Business teaches you a lot of important skills that you not only can use if you’re going into college and the workforce, but will teach a lot about budgeting, making the right decisions. Business just teaches you a lot of things,” Huedepohl said.
Hayes had around 75 students compete in BPA this year with six going to States. Out of those six, Abigail Bricker and Raul Mainsah both placed in the top ten and Hall placed second in his event.
Joining BPA can be very beneficial for students going into business or for students who do not know what they want to do in their future.
“It’s a huge opportunity,” Hall said. “If you don’t know what you’re going to do yet in life, then I would take one of those classes because it’s like you might not see it coming, but it really does help open your eyes to opportunities.”

Junior Sam Hall standing with his trophy after getting second-place at the BPA state competition.
Junior Sam Hall standing with his trophy after getting second-place at the BPA state competition. Photo used with permission from Martin Huedepohl.