Swather FBLA continues tradition of sending students to national competition

By Jackie Nelson

HESSTON – Hesston High students had a strong year, competing in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). This year, Hesston is sending nine students to national competition in a variety of categories. National competition will take place in June.

Sponsor Staci Hansen said after last year’s cancellation of the season due to the pandemic, this year’s highlight was, “Getting to compete after not getting to last year and seeing our kids succeed and do well even when things were different.”

This season, Swathers who qualified for nationals will take part in all-online competitions in June, giving Zoom presentations and taking online tests.

The effects and challenges of COVID-19 have lingered, as competitions were moved online. Hansen said areas where Hesston typically excel – presentations in team events – were cancelled this year. She added that students were not able to go compete in person and “do all of the fun things we can do when in person.”

However, the challenges were overcome by collaborating with staff to ensure FBLA competitors had the best experience possible.

“Luckily, we have a great tech director, Phil Unruh, who made sure we had adequate internet to keep us up and running for virtual testing as we spent two full days testing with 41 kids in our gym,” said Hansen.

Other students stepped up to assist FBLA in their competitions, as Katie Gaston and the Audio Visual class, “Helped us with the logistics of getting presentations recorded professionally,” she said.

Hansen said she also wanted to extend a special thanks to Denise Goevert and Garrett Roth for helping run events.”

While working through an unconventional season, Hansen said her students continued to adapt, overcome and succeed. From FBLA veterans to first-time competitors, Hansen said she was impressed with the effort and dedication of Hesston teens.

“Madalyn Dages, a senior, this is her first year to be in FBLA. She competed in web design and had to record herself using Loom to describe her website. She did a fantastic job and placed fourth in state to qualify for nationals,” said Hansen.

First timer Katelyn Boles gave a very heartfelt, as well as professional speech in Intro to Public Speaking and took home third place and a national qualifiers spot.

Hansen said Amala John took on an entire team presentation solo and earned a second place finish in Business Ethics and a trip to national competition.

“All of our students who went the extra mile to do presentation events…they are time consuming and require a lot of out of school effort,” said Hansen.

Through a season of changing norms and adaptation, Hansen was proud of all of the FBLA participants.

“They stepped up and gave great effort and had great success, even when things were different,” she said.

As the season comes to an end for many of the FBLA students, Hansen hopes the community would appreciate the effort of teens during an uncertain and challenging school year.

“They care. They care about doing well for not just themselves, but our team and our school. We have some amazing kids who are going to go do big things,” she said.

Like any other extracurricular program, Hansen said FBLA depends on the community for support, through fundraisers and donations.

“We appreciate how the community always steps up to help us, whether it is donating at our blood drive in the fall, eating at our fundraising suppers at basketball games or donating to our program. We appreciate our local businesses. Also, thank you to HHS Power Club, who helped with meals/snacks for kids during our days of testing,” Hansen said.

2021 State FBLA Top 10 Finishers for Hesston

1st Place – Cyber Security Test: Will Bartel*

1st Place – Sports and Entertainment Management Test: Lucas Roth, Jackson Humphreys, Cole Deutschendorf*

2nd Place – Business Calculations Test: Will Bartel*

2nd Place – Business Ethics Presentation: Amala John*

3rd Place – Intro to Public Speaking Presentation: Katelyn Boles*

3rd Place – Sales Presentation: Michaela Martin & Jackson Humphreys*

4th Place – Web Design: Madalyn Dages*

4th Place – Banking & Financial Test: Jace Regier*

5th Place – Securities & Investments Test: Jace Regier

6th Place – Accounting Test: Cora Yoder

7th Place – Accounting II Test : Jace Regier

7th Place – Entrepreneurship Test: Devin Miller, Colton Diller, Micah Dahlsten

8th Place – Public Speaking: Diana Cervantes

9th Place – Economics Test; Matthew Waltner

*Qualified for national competition

2021 District FBLA Top 10 Finishers for Hesston

Accounting:

Cora Yoder – 1st

Lucas Roth – 4th

Cole Deutschendorf – 10th

Accounting II

Jackson Humphreys – 1st

Braden Esau – 2nd

Jace Regier – 3rd

Andrew Schmidt – 4th

Advertising

Ty Schroeder – 4th

Armani McGovern – 6th

Brayden Bruner – 9th

Agribusiness

Andrew Schmidt – 1st

Dalton Carey – 2nd

Joey Kueker – 4th

Banking & Financial

Jace Regier – 1st

Business Calculations

Will Bartel – 1st

Lucas Roth – 3rd

Amala John – 5th

Cora Yoder – 10th

Business Communications

Will Bartel – 3rd

Amala John – 9th

Business Ethics

Amala John – 1st

Business Law

Joey Kueker – 2nd

Paityn Jahay – 5th

Harley Ferralez – 8th

Computer Problem Solving

Evan Fuqua – 10th

Cyber Security

Will Bartel – 2nd

Cason Richardson – 5th

Matthew Waltner – 9th

Economics

Dalton Carey – 7th

Kaleb Hansen – 8th

Cole Deutschendorf – 10th

Entrepreneurship Team

Micah Dahlsten, Devin Miller, Colton Diller – 4th

Healthcare Administration

Joey Kueker – 7th

Hospitality Management Team

Olivia Arnold, Elaina Tozier, Katelyn Boles – 6th

Impromptu Speaking

Diana Cervantes – 2nd

Intro to Business Procedures

Cavan Fuqua – 7th

Armani McGovern – 10th

Jackson Copeland – 10th tie

Intro to Financial Math

Devin Miller – 1st

Intro to Public Speaking

Katelyn Boles – 1st

Journalism

Cole Deutschendorf – 2nd

Ben Bollinger – 10th

Organizational Leadership

Emily Schmidt – 5th

Personal Finance

Matthew Waltner – 7th

Jesse Magill – 9th

Cora Yoder – 10th

Public Speaking

Diana Cervantes – 2nd

Sales Presentation

Jackson Humphreys & Michaela Martin – 2nd

Securities & Investments

Jace Regier – 3rd

Jackson Humphreys – 5th

Josh Leinbach – 10th

Sports & Entertainment Management Team

Cole Deutschendorf, Lucas Roth, Jackson Humphreys