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Photo by Deb Gao Ortonville High School students prepare for a parliamentary style team meeting at the Minnesota Business Professionals of America regional conference Friday in Marshall.

MARSHALL — Classes weren’t in session, but students still came out to Marshall High School Friday morning in suits and office wear. Once they were inside, many students opened laptops on cafeteria tables, or brought notes for presentations they planned.

It was all par for the course at the Minnesota Business Professionals Conference of America. Students from eight southwest and west central Minnesota high schools, including Marshall High School and Tracy Area High School, competed in events that showcased their skills in fields ranging from business to communications and technology.

“BPA is all about giving students the opportunity to share what they’ve learned in the classroom and in their career interests.” said Brenda Killen, Region 8 BPA Director and BPA Lead Advisor at MHS. “There are also many leadership opportunities for students.”

Friday was MHS’s first time hosting a regional conference.

“I was really excited about it, because I knew we had great facilities for it.” Callen said about hosting the conference. MHS had plenty of room for preparation and competition for students, she said. And since Marshall County didn’t have school that day, he knew there would be space.

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At the regional conference, students can participate in a variety of individual and team events on a wide range of professional topics. A total of 170 students competed in the conference, Killen said. MHS students place high in various events. A total of 43 MHS students won 100 awards on Friday, Killen said.

Friday’s list of events covers everything from parliamentary procedure to job interview skills, finance, IT and business law. MHS student Logan Conway said he will compete in the individual medical coding event.

“I am interested in health care fields” Conway said.

Mal Bingin said he competes in an ethical and professional manner.

“We have 10 minutes to prepare a speech about a hypothetical business situation.” she said Bingen said this was her first year competing. “It’s awesome” she said

Some of the team events that MHS students participated in included video production and computer animation. Tom Hanson, a member of the video production team, said their mission was to create the video to raise awareness about the endangered species. The group chose the axolotl, a rare type of salamander from Mexico.

“We wanted to choose something better.” The group members said.

Another group of MHS students competed in a computer animation competition. They were provided with a topic and tasked with creating an animation that told a story around the topic.

“We had different ideas about what we wanted to do.” said Anna de Groot, a member of the group.

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She said it was hard to fit everything into two minute moves.

Logan Conway said it will take about a month to complete the motion that the group will present.

“It’s great that we can do it here at Marshall,” MHS student Josh Boyer said about hosting the regional conference.

One of the best things about the conference, he said, was meeting BPA students from other schools.

For students who placed high enough in their competitive events on Friday, the next stop will be competing at the Minnesota BPA State Leadership Conference in March.

Marshall High School students were among the BPA members who took the top spot in team and individual events on Friday. In all, 43 MHS students won a total of 100 awards at the conference. MHS students who placed first in their events included:

• Claire Allen – First in Advanced Accounting, Payroll Accounting

• Joshua Bauer – Head of computer animation team, computer security, information technology concepts

• Brady Brandl – First in the Basics of Web Design

• Madeleine Brockberg – First in the computer animation team

Logan Conway – First on the computer animation team, concept of medical terminology

• Dylan Crowley – First in Health Administration Procedures, Health Insurance and Medical Billing

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Tiffany Davis – First in Computer Programming Concepts, Python Programming

• Anna de Groot – First in the computer animation team, server administration using Microsoft

• Jenna Decker – Primer on SQL Database Basics

• Kennedy Drake – First, intermediate word processing in basic office systems and procedures

• Jordan Dusher – First in the video production team

• Dalton Edens – pioneer in advanced word processing

• Tom Hanson – Digital Media Production, Management/Marketing/Human Resources Concept, Lead Video Production Team

• Say Paw Pa Htoo – First in computer networking technology

• Mary Leno – First in Advanced Interview Skills

• Jasmine Mortland – First in Medical Diagnostic Coding, Video Production Team,

• Edward Nobel – pioneer in computer modeling

• Caitlin Runia – A pioneer in digital marketing concepts

• Keaton Ronia – First in device configuration and troubleshooting, video production team

• Ivan Schutzko – A pioneer in meeting and event planning concepts

• Braxton Seifert – First in Personal Financial Management

Chloe Stevens – First in Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management

• Augie Strock – First in financial mathematics and analytical concepts, Java programming

• Brennan Toft – The first of the basic spreadsheet applications

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