COLUMBUS — Qualifying for a national competition comes with challenges.
Lakeview High School FBLA members found that out while preparing for the State Leadership Conference, a event held earlier this month in Omaha that determined who moves on to the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, this summer.
Putting in the hard work to complete projects was only part of the test for the students. There were nearly missed deadlines because of computer problems and working into the wee hours of the morning to make sure the submissions were in on time.
The effort was worth it as the Lakeview FBLA chapter qualified seven students for the national competition, the most in school history.
Lakeview FBLA had 16 members at the state conference taking part in various performance-based events and tests. A top-three finish in an event was required to move on to nationals, which is scheduled for June 27 through July 3.
Jan Went, who is stepping down as the Lakeview FBLA adviser after this school year, said the record number of students qualifying for nationals is a good note to end on.
“We had a really strong delegation attend. I knew there was a lot of potential because they have talent in a lot of areas,” said Went, who has been the school's FBLA adviser since 1995.
A team of three seniors — Nick Dolezal, Blake Langmack and Blair Stuthman — won the Local Chapter Annual Business Report event.
The report highlighted everything the chapter does throughout the year, which includes fundraising for the March of Dimes, community service work and school projects, Dolezal said.
Langmack said the project was going strong until the day it was due and all the changes they made to the 15-page report got deleted by a bad jump drive.
“We had to rush back here and get it done before midnight to submit it,” he said.
Senior Jarrod Blaser also had a close call with the deadline. He was taking part in the agribusiness event that required him to take a test at the state competition. The event happened to be on the same day as a soccer match.
“As soon as the soccer game ended, we shook hands and I took off and went to Omaha,” Blaser said, adding that he dressed in the car and was ushered into the testing site by Went to make it by 8 p.m.
Though a bit rushed, Blaser scored a second-place showing in his first time at state.
Stuthman also paired with senior Jennifer Jimenez to qualify for nationals in publication design. The duo got third place in that event for creating a TV cooking show called “The Uncanny Granny” and promotional materials.
Senior Cole Tessendorf took second place for sales presentation.
He provided a sales pitch for Boot Tux, a stirrup that clips onto jeans to keep them tucked into boots. Tessendorf used a mannequin borrowed from The Fort to give his presentation before the judges. Now that dummy will be flying with him to California.
“We have to get her (the mannequin) on an airplane. I don’t know how we are going to do that,” Tessendorf said with a laugh.
This is the third time Tessendorf is going to the national event.
Sophomore Halla Paschold qualified for Business Achievement Awards that incorporates four different skill levels. It typically takes students years to finish all the levels, but Paschold completed them in about four months by staying after school and coming in early to work on her projects.
In addition to individual honors, the Lakeview chapter was recognized with several awards, including being the largest in Class B with 202 members.
Other Lakeview results from state FBLA include:
• Shelby Berger, Jordan Loseke and Tessendorf, fourth place in community service project; Dolezal, fourth place in public speaking II; Dolezal and Tessendorf, sixth in graphic design.
• Honorable mentions: Blaser, Loseke and Stuthman for job interview; Paschold for introduction to business communication; Courtney Miller for organization leadership.
• Who’s Who in Nebraska FBLA: Langmack and Dolezal.
• All-State Quality Members: Burger, Dolezal, Andrew Herley, Langmack, Miller, Stuthman and Tessendorf.
• Business Achievement Awards: Sydney Loseke, Paschold and Stuthman.