Eight students qualify for BPA state competition


Photo courtesy of John Sabol

BSM’s Business Professionals of America team went to Anoka Ramsey Community College for the regional competition. Eight members of the team qualified to continue towards the state competition.

Maria Van Hove, Staff Writer

With a recent regional competition, the Business Professionals of America (BPA) team had been working hard to prepare themselves. The bus left at 7 a.m. sharp on Wednesday, February 8, and BSM hoped to beat its northwest suburban competitors at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.

While this is only the third year that BSM is competing in BPA, business teacher and BPA coach Mr. John Sabol was confident that the team will do well this year. “Over half of our students typically compete in one event in the state competition by qualifying in the upcoming regional competition,” Sabol said.

With eight members of the team qualifying for the state competition on March 23-25, the team is very proud of their accomplishments. “We performed very well. Our team did great and we’ll see how it turns out at the state competition,” Sabol said.

Sabol looks to senior President Billy Madden, who qualified for and competed at the national level last year; senior Vice President Cole Solomon; and senior Secretary George Benning for leadership and experience this year. Since Madden and Benning have prior experience, they serve as mentors to the younger students who are joining for the first year. “The great thing about BPA is that we are a young organization always looking for new recruits. It’s not very popular yet because not many people know about it. Anyone is welcome to join,” Benning said.

Sabol knows students prepare well, and this club is different from many of the other clubs at BSM because it is so flexible and covers a wide scope of topics. “[BPA is] pretty student-focused and student-driven. The cool thing about it is that there are so many different areas you can compete in. You can compete in whatever your interest is in the business area. There’s always an area for everybody,” Mr. Sabol said.

Some areas that students cover focus more on technology, computer networkings, and computer programming. Recently, Mr. Sabol has been working with Help Desk provider Mr. Bill Cheney on preparing students for the technology aspect—an area that BSM is hoping to develop. Other areas students tend to focus on include interviewing skills, research, accounting, and finance to name a few. “BPA is focused on learning new things, having fun, and gaining some great experiences,” Solomon said.