Kennett High School’s FBLA E-Business Team and individual competitors in Business Law, Securities and Investments, and Impromptu Speaking advanced out of state competition to the Future Business Leaders of America National Conference and Competition to be held in Atlanta, June 29 through July 2. According to the FBLA website, “competitive events at the National Leadership Conference . . . prepare students for successful careers in business by providing opportunities to apply classroom concepts in a workforce-simulated competitive environment.”
The E-Business Team of Anna Colamarino, Kelsey Jernegan, and Alena Rybarczyk (all sophomores) placed second in the state level competition held April 11 through 13 in Hershey. At the national level, the team will have to present a “slightly tweaked version” of their prize-winning E-business website. The event requires students to “create a website for a banquet hall (to be used for wedding receptions, engagement parties, and any type of celebrations or business presentation meetings).” The website must include an interactive calendar, photo gallery, and contact page with the ability to reserve the hall and pay online. The team decided to create their banquet hall inside world-renowned Longwood Gardens.
Anna said, “We decided it would be cool. Longwood is a great landmark in our town. We’re all from Kennett, so we can bring a little of Kennett into our presentation.”
“The state leadership conference was a very cool experience, so I expect Nationals to be just as great,” added Alena.
And, Kelsey asserted, “I thought FBLA was going to be more ‘academic,’ but it turned out to be social. We’ve met a lot of fun and inspiring people.”
The team has a great deal of experience working together: Anna and Alena play on Kennett High School’s tennis team together, Kelsey and Alena run track, and Kelsey and Anna are both on the swim team. And, all three are also involved in a wide range of other extra-curricular activities.
Sophomore Jake Kalscheur qualified for the national competition by placing third at the state level in Business Law. Jake will have to demonstrate his expertise on a sixty-minute test evaluating his knowledge of contracts and sales; property law; business organization; agency and employment law; domestic/personal law; negotiable investments, insurance, secured transactions, and bankruptcy; consumer protection; product/personal liability; computer law; and the legal system.
Jake remarked, “I was inspired to enter the Business Law event, at least in part, based on my interest in the law. It has been a great experience, and I’m looking forward to Nationals.”
Besides being involved in FBLA, Jake also plays on the golf team and participates in mock trial. He is interested in pursuing a career in either engineering or law.
Junior Zachary Hrenko earned his trip to Nationals by placing fourth in Securities and Investments in Hershey. Like Jake, Zach will have to demonstrate his understanding on a sixty-minute test covering topics in investment fundamentals, personal investing, retirement and estate planning, the financial services industry, financial assets and marketing, financial services regulation, the stock market, and mutual funds.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity. The club provides an excellent way to break into the world of business and finance. I’m excited to compete and represent Kennett High School at the national level,” said Zach.
Zach will be the senior drum major of Kennett High School’s marching band this fall. He also participates in a wide variety of activities, including Model UN, Academic Team, and GSA.
And, finally, Casey Bruno, a graduating senior, gained his spot at Nationals by placing fifth in Impromptu Speaking. When he competes in Atlanta, Casey will be given only ten minutes to prepare a four-minute speech on one or more FBLA goals. He will not be permitted to use electronic devices to prepare or present; his only support materials will be two 4 X 6 index cards provided to him by event judges. His speech will be evaluated on content, organization, and delivery.
Casey explained, “I’m proud to be able to represent my school, joining my fellow competitors. I’d like to thank my lit. teachers and Mr. Duane Kotz for giving me the tools and the confidence to display my speaking ability at the national level.”
Casey also participates in several activities, marching band, the musicals, and the robotics club among them. He will head to Temple University this fall, potentially majoring in bioengineering.
The Kennett High School Chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America is co-advised by business teacher Mr. Bill Fritsch and social studies teacher Mr. Joe O’Sullivan, who accompanied the students to the conference in Hershey. School librarian Ms. Lisa Teixeira also served as chaperone for the more than thirty KHS FBLA members who qualified for state competition from the regional level. In addition to those named above, regional qualifiers included Saarang Karandikar, Sean Huezo, Michael Yue, Luke Beeson, David McVey, Edwin Casteneda, Joe Schlitz, Aliyah Asel, Ben Skross, Delaney Chaffin, Evan Brown, Rhea Jiang, Becca Shoemaker, Amanda Haid, Lauren Hauptschein, Ben Jordan, Nate Dight, Zach Zamorski, Ryan Salameda, Laurel Peterson, Austin Maxwell, Merritt Connolly, Michael Crognale, Steven Holladay, Matt Hauptschein, Jonathan Bell, Davis Piercy, Henry Shattuck, Jayna Bruno, and Aidan Schmidt.
The students moving on to the national competition will be accompanied to Atlanta by Ms. Teixeira.