BPA win carries on tradition of Schwartz, program

Students and faculty involved in Culver Community High School’s Business Professionals of America have not only carried on a remarkable tradition of excellence by virtue of their success at a recent state-level competition, they’re also carrying on the legacy of the recently-deceased, well-loved Culver teacher who helped build the program to what it is, Mike Schwartz.
Twenty-two CCHS students competed in Indianapolis February 27 through March 1 at BPA’s annual state competition.
Cameron Turney won second place in her Economic Research Project. The group of Paige Norwich, Colton Measels, Kaceigh Ahlenius, and CJ Dehning won first place in their team Economic Research Project. Jackie Bauer placed ninth in Banking and Finance; Kaceigh Ahlenius placed 10th in Advanced Word Processing; Alex Shaffer placed fifth in Insurance Concepts; and CJ Dehning placed fourth in Insurance Concepts. Dehning and Bauer each received the State level Torch Award for service.
CCHS students Cameron Turney, CJ Dehning, and Kaitlyn Comiskey will attend the BPA 2011 National Leadership Conference, “Stand Out From the Crowd,” in Washington, DC, May 4 through 8, joining over 5,000 other conference delegates from across the nation to participate in national level business skills competitions, workshops, general sessions, and the national officer candidate campaigns and elections. And besides the opportunity to excel, they’ll experience the history and government of our nation through Washington, DC monuments, memorials and museums.
The unique highlight of the conference this year will be the National Leadership Conference Opening Session at the foot of the Washington Monument. All conference attendees will stand together at this historic sight as the first Career/Technical Student Organization to gather at the National Mall.
“The conference will be the culmination of a school year’s worth of business skills education and training which members of the local chapter of Business Professionals of America at Culver have received,” said Culver’s chapter advisor, Alicia Cotner.
Turney is returning for a third year to Nationals with an Economic Research project. CJ Dehning (along with Ahlenius, Measels, and Norwich, who won’t be attending in DC) placed first at the state competition for their Team Economic Research project. Dehning and Comiskey will receive the National level Torch Ambassador Award there.
Cotner, who teaches 4th grade at Culver Elementary School, has taken the mantle of Culver’s program from -- and continued the success of -- the late Schwartz, whose battle with cancer in recent years ended with his passing last month. The success of Culver’s team this year carries on a record of wins for the school, which has consistently placed disproportionately high against even vastly larger schools on the state and national level, for more than a decade. This is the club’s eighth consecutive attendance at Nationals.