Piggott High FBLA Completes Record Setting Year
This year's FBLA National Leadership Conference was a record setting experience for Piggott High School FBLA as three members took the stage for awards. According to Adviser Stacey Peters, 2016 marked the first time a Piggott FBLA member gained individual, national recognition.
The first recognition was handed-out on Wednesday, June 29, as PHS member Tyler Peters participated in the parade of states. Peters, a recent PHS grad, was recognized for being selected to Arkansas Who's Who in FBLA, alongside current State President Emily Richey, of Paris, and Outstanding Adviser Megan Johnson, of Rosebud.
The honors continued on Saturday, July 2, as PHS members Georgina Bautista and Hannah Powell were awarded first place in their competitive event, Introduction to Business Presentation.
"In this event, members prepare a presentation based on a topic given by nationals. The presentation must have been developed using a presentation software program such as Microsoft PowerPoint, be no longer than seven minutes, and should follow copyright guidelines," Peters explained.
Bautista and Powell first competed in the preliminary round of competition on Thursday afternoon. This round consisted of eight sections, with 16 teams in each section, for a total of over 120 teams.
The 16 finalists, two from each section, were posted at 2:25 a.m. on Friday, at which time an exuberant Powell immediately called to notify Peters. "I had stayed up until 1:30 a.m. but then I just set my alarm for every 30 minutes. The girls couldn't sleep and constantly checked online until their event finals were posted," she remembered. "When I answered my phone I knew from the excitement in their voices that they had made it. I told the girls to get some sleep because we would have an early morning."
The next morning the girls competed in front of spectators, and after slight technical difficulties, gave a flawless performance, according to member Madison Crittenden who was watching. "I was worried because they had trouble at first with the projector provided by nationals, and eventually had to just present from the laptop, placing it on the table with the judges," she explained."But their actual presentation was perfect! During the question/answer session, the girls handled each question professionally and were able to provide thorough answers."
Although the presentation itself was outstanding, the team was not confident in a top 10 finish due to the technical issues. At the awards ceremony Saturday evening, the top 10 teams were announced, and invited to come to the stage in random order. "Understandably, as the announcer called Bautista and Powell from Arkansas, the Piggott section went crazy, in addition to the rest of the Arkansas members present," Peters offered.
She noted, as the top 10 teams took the stage the Piggott delegation was on pins and needles. And, as teams were announced places in descending order, Piggott students' anticipation grew with every place. "When the announcer called second place and it wasn't us, I simply cannot describe the feeling," commented Bautista. "Unbelievable is the only thing I can think of," added Powell. The entire Piggott delegation was exuberant, standing and cheering on their fellow members.
Several other Piggott members attended this year's national leadership conference due as they qualified to do so based on top finishes at the state level. "I knew this was a special group," Peters added. "They have all worked so hard. I don't think many people realize the competition our small town is up against. There are some chapters who have as many members as Piggott has students in the entire high school. Just to be able to compete with this level is an amazing experience."
She noted each one of the qualifying members represented Piggott High School and community with honor and pride. In addition to their competitions, members attended general sessions, workshops, and were able to visit many of the sights of Atlanta. "My favorite activity we experienced in Atlanta was watching Madison Crittenden swim with the sharks and rays," said Tyler Peters. "It was awesome to watch a dream of hers being fulfilled right in front of our eyes! And because of it, the rest of our group was treated to an amazing backstage view of the Georgia Aquarium."
"The Piggott FBLA extends its sincere gratitude to Piggott State Bank and First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center, for their contributions toward this trip," Peters offered. "Experiences such as the Georgia aquarium, Atlanta Braves baseball game, and The College Football Hall of Fame would not have been possible without their generous donations. In addition, the national leadership conference attendees also want to recognize the Piggott School District administration, and school board, for funding the majority of student transportation, lodging and meals."
Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit education association with a quarter million members and advisers in over 6,500 active middle school, high school and college chapters worldwide. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. Those wanting more information on how they, their business, or child can be involved in the success of the Piggott FBLA chapter may contact Mrs. Peters at Piggott High School or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org