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NEWS RELEASE: Local Business Students Earn State Awards, Tickets To Nationals

April 6, 2017
Rosman FBLA students at SLC in Greensboro, March 2017 Rosman and Brevard students recently competed at the NC FBLA State Leadership Conference in Greensboro. Several won state awards, and top performers earned the chance to compete at the national conference this summer in Anaheim, California.

FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America: is a student organization with middle school, high school, and collegiate divisions. The state organization hosts a two-and-a-half day conference each spring, and 2,300 students attended the 63nd Annual FBLA State Leadership Conference at Greensboro’s Koury Center from March 22nd through 25th.

FBLA is the largest career-oriented student organization in the world. This year’s FBLA theme is “Your Future Starts Today.” Students competed in their choice of 83 different events (including middle school), three scholarships, and chapter projects, ranging from Accounting to Mobile Application Development.

In the competitive events, local students scored the following top awards, giving them a chance to compete at the National Leadership Conference, June 29th through July 2nd, in Anaheim: Cullen Duval (BHS), 2nd place in Public Speaking II; Ressie Owen (RHS), 4th place in Journalism; and Grace Owen and Jenna Odom (RHS),4th place in Business Plan.

The students below earned Top Ten distinction in their respective competitions:

Brevard FBLA students at SLC in Greensboro, March 2017 Brevard High School Top Ten finishers: Avery McCall and Maggie Morris, each in Agribusiness; Noah Housman, Business Calculations; August Barham, Business Communications; Aly Henneberry, Impromptu Speaking; and Benton Tynch, Personal Finance.

Rosman High School Top Ten finishers: Jasmine Myers & Ressie Owen, Community Service Project; Cory Reid, Samuel Chappell & Jonah Whitman, Marketing; Joshua Voris & Dakotah Morgan, Website Development; Avery McCall, Agribusiness.

The following students also competed at the state conference. Rosman: Sam Ballard, Heidi Hall, and Courtney Stamey. Brevard: Matthew Ridenour, Charlie Cash, Caroline Jelley, Casey Cooper, Aaron Neumann, Brayden Myers, Meredith Barton, and Jammi Hunt.

A special treat for Rosman FBLA was seeing Tiger alum Jamie Barton (Class of 2013) give a brief speech as the NC President of Phi Beta Lambda, the college level of FBLA. She joined at Barton College and has worked her way up to state president of the organization. (The speech is online at, beginning at the 24:00 mark.)

Ressie Owen, a Rosman senior, said that students gain valuable experience preparing and competing at the state conference to get on a successful path after high school.

“This conference showed me how the business world works,” said Owen, “and put into perspective that I could be working in that world in just a few years. It showed me a lot about how to conduct myself and succeed in a business setting, and that has benefited my future plans greatly.”

Laura Smith, a veteran business teacher at Rosman High School, attended her first state conference with advisor Lisa Gillespie. Smith said FBLA students get a unique opportunity to take their learning beyond the classroom.

“FBLA events enable students to compete with students all across the state of North Carolina,” said Smith, “taking what they learn across the curriculum and applying their knowledge in an unfamiliar, stressful environment.  Students often have to ‘think on their feet,’ as they develop communication skills essential for success at work.”

She also noted that the state conference offers students a chance to grow socially while developing their business skills.

“Teenagers network with other students and learn to appreciate different backgrounds among their peers,” she added. “The conference concludes with an awards celebration in rock star style. This kind of recognition on a state level gives students who go above and beyond in the classroom a well-earned reward for hard work.”

During the conference, students had the opportunity to attend numerous workshops, and could also opt for testing on FBLA Facts, Microsoft Office 2013, Multimedia & Webpage Design, and Personal Finance. These and other business and productivity topics are part of the CTE curriculum in middle and high schools in Transylvania County Schools.

The state conference features business meetings, state officer elections, and other planned activities. As always, students represented Transylvania County Schools and career and technical education very well at the conference, and look forward to attending the NLC coming up in June.


Pictured Above:

Rosman FBLA SLC 2017: Back row (L to R) – Cory Reid, Samuel Chappell, Joshua Voris, Jonah Whitman, Dakotah Morgan, and Samuel Ballard. Front row (L to R) – Jasmine Myers, Ressie Owen, Jenna Odom, Grace Owen, Heidi Hall, and Courtney Stamey.

Brevard FBLA SLC 2017: (L to R) Casey Cooper, Aaron Neumann, Benton Tynch, Jammi Hunt, Avery McCall. Caroline Jelley, Brayden Myers, Aly Henneberry, Matthew Ridenour, Charlie Cash, Cullen Duval, Maggie Morris, Noah Housman, and Meredith Barton.