Moffat County High School students who competed in a Future Business Leaders of America district competition Monday display awards they won during the event in Grand Junction. Of the 20 students who participated in the event, 17 qualified for state.

Photo by Bridget Manley

Moffat County High School students who competed in a Future Business Leaders of America district competition Monday display awards they won during the event in Grand Junction. Of the 20 students who participated in the event, 17 qualified for state.

High school FBLA in the midst of banner year

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At a glance ...

• Moffat County High School will send 17 students to the state Future Business Leaders of America championship in April.

• Students qualified for state at a district competition Monday in Grand Junction.

• FBLA is designed to teach high school students the skills needed to compete in business.

• Teacher: More students qualified for state this year than in her seven years at MCHS.

The results were staggering to Krista Schenck.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” the Moffat County High School business, marketing and technology teacher said.

Seventeen of the 20 MCHS students who went to a Future Business Leaders of America district competition Monday earned a berth at the state championship.

That number constitutes the high school’s largest FBLA state team in Schenck’s seven-year career at MCHS, she said.

She wasn’t the only one taken aback by the results of Monday’s competition in Grand Junction.

Brittany Madigan, an 18-year-old MCHS senior, was part of a two-person team competing in desktop publishing. It was one of a litany of events offered through the club, which is designed to prepare students for careers in business-related fields.

The flier she and her partner, Aubrey Campbell, submitted to the event placed better than expected. They took first place in the event, Madigan said.

“We hadn’t expected to place,” Madigan said. “… We were surprised.”

High rankings at Monday’s FBLA competition mirror those the high school’s Distributive Education Clubs of America group earned at a district event in December 2011, where 21 of 26 students qualified for the state championship.

It’s no coincidence this school year has been a banner season for both clubs.

“A lot of our DECA events correlate to our FBLA events,” said Morgan Carrico, an MCHS junior and FBLA member.

Schenck believes experience played a significant role in the team earning higher marks this year.

“I’ve had a lot of these kids in five or six different classes, and so I think they have more wide-spread knowledge” of the principals needed in FBLA, she said.

“We kind of know what these events are like and so we can do a better job at practicing for the role plays” students perform at the competitions, Schenck said.

The FBLA team has about two months to raise enough money for the state competition, which takes place April 22 through 24 in Vail.

The club has about $500 in its account, said Kirstie McPherson, an FBLA member and MCHS senior. It needs about $3,500 to get to state.

Sports concessions are “a major contributor” to the fund, FBLA president Thomas McCoy said.

Yet FBLA members are trying to tap into another funding source — they’re seeking donations from individuals who are willing to give the group a financial boost.

“If the community could help us out, that would be great,” said McPherson.

FBLA students also have to hone the business and professional skills they’ll use at the competition.

Schenck said she hopes to find local business leaders who are willing to volunteer with the group to do exactly that.

“We’ll be doing a lot of practices between now and April,” she said.

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