Piggott High FBLA Shines at National Conference
For the third year in a row, the Piggott High School chapter of the FBLA was recognized at the highest level recently with student members receiving national awards and the chapter receiving national recognition.
This year the 2018 FBLA National Leadership Conference was held in Baltimore, Md., and proved to be another record-setting year for PHS FBLA as two events received top-10 awards.
On Sunday, July 1, PHS members Allison Kilbreath and Hannah Powell were awarded eighth and sixth place, respectively, in their competitive events.
Kilbreath competed in American Enterprise Project, a report and presentation event. This event is designed to promote an awareness of some facet of the American enterprise system within the school and/or community and be designed for chapter participation. Kilbreath, along with another original team member, Georgina Bautista, implemented a variety of events throughout the school year including a fair booth, lessons at PES, a trip to Memphis Grizzlies’ Pro Sports Career Day and others.
At the NLC, Kilbreath presented on Friday, June 29, in Baltimore in the preliminary round which consisted of six sections with 15 teams in each section for a total of 90 teams. Kilbreath was chosen as a finalist and presented again on Saturday. “I was grateful to be given the opportunity to compete among the best of the best,” exclaimed Kilbreath. “My final performance could not have gone any better. The judges really took interest in our platform and made me feel that all the hard work Georgina and I did paid off.”
Powell competed in Publication Design, a presentation only event. This event is designed to highlight print publications based on a topic provided by nationals. Powell and original teammate Bautista began creating the required publications in the beginning of last school year. Once all materials were revised, finalized and printed, the girls developed a presentation similar to an advertising pitch. Powell also presented on Friday, June 29, in her preliminary round consisting of eight teams with 16 teams in each section for a total of 128 teams. Powell was also selected as a finalist and performed again on Saturday. Of the finalists in each event, only the top 10 are announced on stage at the awards ceremony.
“The awards ceremony is so full of excitement and suspense as we await the events we competed in,” commented Stacey Peters, chapter adviser. “Our school, along with the entire Arkansas delegation, cheered loudly as we heard the names of our Piggott students. Kilbreath, a first-time national finalist, was ecstatic to be on stage at all, and was very pleased with the eighth place trophy and commented, “nothing worth having comes easy.”
No stranger to the national stage, Powell proudly accepted her sixth place trophy. “I wish I knew how many other students can say they have placed in the national top-10 for three consecutive years,” Peters stated. “I can guarantee it is not that many. I am so proud of Hannah’s commitment and perseverance in FBLA. And while Georgina was unable to attend the national conference this year, her contributions to the designs used as well as the performance concepts allowed the presentation to reach this level.”
Powell reflected on her FBLA experiences stating, “I’m beyond blessed to have seen another city and to have placed in the top ten at the FBLA National Leadership Conference for the third year in a row.”
The chapter also had other event finalists. Madison Rahn and Carlie Vancil competed as a team in Graphic Design. This event is similar to Publication Design although focuses more on computer-based digital art. There were seven sections with 16 teams each, for a total of 112 teams. Rahn and Vancil were finalists, making them part of an elite, national top-14 group. “I am ecstatic with this team’s performance throughout the school year,” commented Peters. They’ve worked so hard and have taught themselves so many design skills that they did not already know. I can’t wait to see how this propels them for this next school year!”
Vancil was proud of her team’s performance stating, “My favorite thing about nationals would be making it to finals for the first time as a sophomore!”
Three Piggott students were also recognized for earning the America level of the Business Achievement Awards at NLC. Kilbreath, Powell and Bautista received their fourth and final lapel pins, completing the four-part series which showcases
the highest level of individual achievement in FBLA and focuses on total association leadership, business skills and involvement in community.
“The amount of work that comes with earning the America level can be overwhelming, and I am thrilled these students chose to tackle the task,” said Peters.
“All of the hard work it takes to reach each level of the Business Achievement Awards is beyond rewarding once you have finally received the America level,” said Bautista. “And to be able to receive national recognition is a huge honor!”
Other Piggott members competed at this year's national leadership conference because they qualified to do so based on how they placed at the state level. “This group was definitely memorable,” exclaimed Peters. “So many firsts for most of them, and watching them meet new people and explore new places was truly an educator’s most rewarding experience. As for the competition, to have so many kids show this much talent, dedication and commitment is very encouraging for our program. Only two of our ten competitors were seniors, bringing back an enormous amount of experience and drive to continue our
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 Baltimore and surrounding areas. Sightseeing opportunities were in abundance on the east coast, according to Peters. The group traveled to Washington, D.C. on two occasions via train and used the subway system to get around while they were there. A private tour of the U.S. Capitol was arranged through Congressman Rick Crawford’s office. Students also visited the Holocaust Smithsonian, ate lunch at the USDA building, visited Arlington National Cemetery where they witnessed the Changing of the Guard, and visited numerous Washington, D.C. monuments and memorials.
Other outings included a Baltimore Oriole’s baseball game, riding pedal boats in the bay, climbing Federal Hill and viewing the grave of Edgar Allan Poe. "My favorite activity we experienced in Baltimore was attending a major league baseball
game at Camden Yards," said Matthew Cheshire.
In addition to individual awards, the Piggott chapter was given buttons and ribbons to adorn their name badges to display their national recognition in the following- National Outstanding Chapter, National Gold Seal Chapter and National Chapter Challenge completion.
Peters noted the 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.” she offered. “Special thanks are extended to Piggott State Bank and First National Bank, Piggott Banking Center, 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 encouraged 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 which may be found on Facebook at 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, or their business or child, can be involved in Piggott's successful FBLA chapter may contact Stacey Peters at Piggott High School or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org