Piggott High FBLA Attends National Leadership Conference

Thursday, August 24, 2017
A total of 13 Members attended the 2017 FBLA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA. Qualifying competitors included, from left: Front-Middle Level District Reporter Tyson Peters, Qualifying Competitors Hannah Powell, Georgina Bautista, Tessa Holcomb, Carlie Vancil, Ashlee Hill and Molly Williams. Back-Kourtney Chadwell, Ally Kilbreath, Madison Rahn, Caleb Riddle, Madison Martin and Destiny Hall.
courtesy photo

This year's FBLA National Leadership Conference in California was yet another memorable experience for members of the Piggott High School chapter, as three representatives took the stage for awards. According to Adviser Stacey Peters, 2017 marked the second time Piggott FBLA members gained individual, national recognition.

On Thursday, June 29, Peters participated in the parade of states, being recognized as Arkansas FBLA Adviser of the Year alongside current State President Matthew Johnson and Arkansas Who’s Who winner Emily Richey. In addition, Piggott senior, and current Arkansas State FBLA Parliamentarian, Ashlee Hill was recognized as being a candidate for National Parliamentarian.

Then on Sunday, July 2, PHS members Georgina Bautista and Hannah Powell were awarded ninth place in their competitive event, Graphic Design. In this event, members create print media based on a topic provided by nationals. The team must then present their print products to a panel of judges, similar to an advertising campaign, using digital media. Bautista and Powell competed in the preliminary round of competition on Friday afternoon. This preliminary round consisted of eight sections with 16 teams in each section for a total of over 120 teams. Sixteen finalists, two from each section, were posted at 5 a.m. on Friday. Later that morning the girls competed in front of spectators.

“The girls had a phenomenal performance,” according to accompanying chaperone Jennifer McPherson.

Of the 16 finalists, only the top 10 are announced on stage at the awards ceremony. “When they announced Hannah and Georgina were in the top 10, our entire state’s section went crazy!” commented Peters.

And, although ninth place was not necessarily how Powell and Bautista wanted to walk away, they agreed the experience was still gratifying. “One thing I’ve learned from competing with FBLA is that you can’t always win and you have to accept that,” commented Powell.

“It’s hard to accept ninth when you’ve brought home first. What is hard to understand is that this year’s event was different than what they competed in last year,” Peters agreed in noting. “Design is very subjective and what one person loves, somebody else may think is boring or flat. I’m still very proud of this team. Not very many schools in Arkansas can say they’ve been on the national stage multiple times.”

The awards of excellence ceremony also announced the incoming officers for 2017-2018. Although Hill did not win the appointment of Parliamentarian, Peters acknowledged her persistence. “Ashlee is a very smart, talented, and special young woman. Her personal growth over the past three years is so amazing to have personally witnessed. I no longer see a shy girl, but someone who will speak up for herself and other members. I hope she truly realized how far she has come and how far she can go!”

Other Piggott members attended this year's national leadership conference because they qualified to do so based on how they placed at the state level. "I knew this was a special group," commented Peters. "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 Anaheim. Sightseeing opportunities were in abundance on the west coast, according to Peters. The group traveled to the Hollywood area visiting the Griffith Observatory and the famous Hollywood sign and took a tour of Warner Brothers Studios where they saw sets for several popular shows including “The Big Bang Theory” and “Fuller House”. Other outings included a short visit to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Santa Monica Pier, an Anaheim Angels ballgame and Disneyland.

"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 and amazing backstage view of the Georgia Aquarium."

“Piggott FBLA extends its sincere gratitude to all of the businesses that offered financial support. Many businesses, both in Piggott and surrounding towns, made donations and were recognized on the group’s social media pages,” Peters added. “Special thanks extended to Piggott State Bank and First National Bank for their generous contributions. In addition, national leadership conference attendees want to also recognize the Piggott School District administration and school board for funding the majority of student transportation, lodging and meals.

As a final thought, Peters encourages parents of members as well as community members who just like to keep up with student success to follow Piggott FBLA’s social media accounts: on Facebook search Piggott High School FBLA and Instagram @piggottFBLA.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., the premier student business organization, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) 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 your child can be involved in the PHS chapter of FBLA may contact Peters at Piggott High School or by email at stacey.peters@piggottschools.net

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