BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Several Clarkston High School students earned top-end marks at the Business Professionals of America regional event last month at Baker College in Flint.
A total of 16 students finished in the top six of an event. Clarkston brought home 13 first-place awards, six second- and third-place honors, four fourth-place accolades, three fifth-place nods, and five sixth-place awards.
Finishing in first place were senior Christian Bartley (digital marketing concepts), senior Richard Budny (C++ programming, computer programming concepts), junior Nathan Dimmer (computer network technology, also finished second through fifth in six other events), junior Meghan Finnerty (fundamentals of web design), senior Ethan Hackstock (financial analyst team), junior Evan Hackstock (financial analyst team), freshman Reagan Hakala (financial analyst team), junior Cameron Hempton (business meeting management concepts), freshman Phoebe Savoie (financial analyst team, financial math and analysis concepts), and junior Jacob Zelinski (administrative support concepts, entrepreneurship).
“I’m always impressed with students who dedicate time and energy to extra-curricular activities,” said Clarkston’s BPA advisor Melissa Shafer, also a CHS Business/Career Tech teacher. “BPA is a professional organization that stresses technical skills and exposes them to soft skills that would be hard to achieve solely from in-class experiences. I know of lot of these kids put in a ton of time prepping for their competitive events and to see that payoff is exciting.
“It rewards their work ethic and builds a confidence that they can carry forward for future competitions and in life.”
Dimmer echoed Shafer’s sentiments.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team this year,” said Dimmer. “In the three years I’ve been in BPA, this is the best our team has ever done, and it shows the level of skill and dedication our students have for their events. I’m excited about our upcoming state competition and wish everyone the best of luck.”
The State Leadership Conference will be held in Grand Rapids, March 19-22. The national competition is in May in Washington, D.C.
Dimmer is banking on using his high school BPA experiences down the line.
“After high school, I hope to use the skills that I’ve learned and practiced through BPA to create a successful technology startup,” he said.