Students from six different Jackson Purchase high schools were among the national winners at the recent 2014 National Future Business Leaders of America Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Two other far western Kentucky high schools also placed in the top ten in their categories of competition.
Calloway County High School's Robert Pruitt and Eric Winkler placed second in "Management Decision Making."
Graves County High School's Audrie Lamb finished third in "Public Speaking I."
McCracken County High School's Caleigh Propes ranked fifth in "Introduction to Business Communication."
Murray High School's team of Logan Smart, Mitchel Handegan, and Ian Smith scored sixth in "Sports and Entertainment Management."
Paducah Tilghman High School's Reese Butler placed ninth in "Business Math."
Mayfield High School's Laney Coplen, representing the Mayfield-Graves County Area Technology Center, finished tenth in "Local Chapter Annual Business Report."
Lyon County High School's team of Abby Wright, Patrick Rivera, and Montez Sinclair ranked tenth in "Hospitality Management."
Crittenden County High School's team of Logan Bingham, Cody Hayes, and Amber Wright scored tenth in "Digital Video Production."
FBLA's national awards program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. Through state-based competition at spring state leadership conferences, students compete in events testing their business knowledge and skills. Top state winners then are eligible to compete for honors at the national leadership conference each summer.
Kentucky FBLA had 460 members attend the national conference with 24 award winners, 14 in the top five, four state membership awards and two professional division awards.
"We are very proud of our students and advisers," said Commissioner Terry Holliday. "Future Business Leaders of America and other student organizations provide valuable experiences for our young people that serve them well in high school, postsecondary and in their chosen careers.
Among its goals, FBLA seeks to:
· develop competent, aggressive business leadership
· strengthen the confidence of students in themselves and their work
· create more interest in and understanding of American business enterprise
· encourage members in the development of individual projects that contribute to the improvement of home, business, and community
· develop character, prepare for useful citizenship, and foster patriotism
· encourage and practice efficient money management
· encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty
· assist students in the establishment of occupational goals
· facilitate the transition from school to work
According to FBLA, members are 25 percent more likely to say they plan to attend a four-year college or university than their counterparts who are not members and are 40 percent more likely to start their own business after high school graduation.
(The above story was customized to western Kentucky from the news release of the KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION)