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Photo by Deb Gau Students from Ortonville High School prepare for a legislative session at the Minnesota Business Professionals of America Conference in Marshall on Friday.

MARSHALL – Classes aren’t in session, but students still arrive at Marshall High School wearing suits and formal wear Friday morning. Once inside, many students opened laptops on the cafeteria table, or took notes for the presentation they planned to give.

It’s all about teaching at the local Minnesota Business Professionals of America conference. Students from eight southwest and west central Minnesota high schools, including Marshall High School and Tracy Area High School, participated in events that showcased their skills in areas ranging from business to communication and technology.

“BPA is about giving students an opportunity to share what they’ve learned in the classroom and in their field of interest,” said Brenda Kellen, BPA District 8 president and BPA’s senior advisor at MHS. “There are also many leadership opportunities for students.”

Friday was the first time MHS hosted a regional conference meet.

“I’m happy for him, because I know we have a good home for him,” Kellen talked about hosting the conference. MHS has many preparation and competition opportunities for students, he said. But because Marshall County didn’t have school that day, he knew the opportunity would be there.

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At regional conferences, students can participate in a variety of individual and group activities on many professional topics. A total of 170 students competed in the conference, Kellen said. MHS students rank high in a variety of programs. Kellen said a total of 43 MHS students received 100 awards on Friday.

Friday’s list of events covers everything from parliamentary procedure to job interview skills, finance, information technology and business law. MHS student Loghan Conway said he will compete in individual and secretive events.

“I am interested in the field of health care,” Conway said.

Mal Bingen said she competes in the arts and crafts events.

“We have 10 minutes to prepare a speech about the business concept,” he said. Bingen said it was his first year in the competition. “It’s exciting,” he said.

Some of the activities MHS students participate in include video production and computer animation. Tom Hanson, a member of the video production team, said their job was to create a video to raise awareness of endangered species. The team released an axolotl, a rare type of salamander from Mexico.

“We want to choose something beautiful,” members said.

Another group of MHS students was competing in a computer programming event. They are given a topic and tasked with creating a film that tells a story around that topic.

“We have a lot of different ideas of what we want to do,” Member Anna DeGroot said.

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He said it was difficult to fit everything into two minutes of animation.

Logan Conway said it took about a month to finalize the film for the group.

“It’s great that we can do this here in Marshall,” MHS student Josh Bauer spoke about hosting the regional conference.

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

For students with high scores in their competition program on Friday, the next stop will be competition at the Minnesota BPA state leadership conference in March.

Marshall High School students were part of the BPA team that earned top spots in team and individual events on Friday. In all, 43 MHS students received a total of 100 awards at the conference. MHS students who entered earlier in their program include:

• Claire Allen – 1st in Advanced Accounting, Payroll Accounting

• Joshua Bauer – 1st in Computer Animation Team, Computer Security, Information Technology Concepts

• Brady Brandl – 1st in the basics of web design

• Madelyn Brockberg – 1st in Computer Animation Team

• Logan Conway – 1st in Computer Animation Team, Medical Concepts

• Daylin Crowley – 1st in Health Administration, Health Insurance and Health Billing

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• Tiffany Davis – 1st in Computer Programming, Python Programming

Anna DeGroot – 1st in Computer Animation Team, Server Administration Using Microsoft

• Jaina Dekker – 1st in SQL Database Fundamentals

• Kennedy Drake – 1st in Basic Office Systems and Procedures, Central Word Processing

• Jordan Duscher – 1st in Video Production Team

• Dalton Edens – first in advanced word processing

• Tom Hanson – 1st in Digital Media Production, Management / Marketing / Human Resources Concepts, Video Production Team

• Say Paw Pa Htoo – 1st in Computer Network Technology

• Mary Lanoue – 1st in Advanced Interview Skills

• Jasmine Mortland – 1st in Medical Diagnostic Coding, Video Production Team,

• Edward Nubile – 1st in Computer Modeling

• Kaitlyn Runia – 1st in Digital Marketing Concepts

• Keaton Runia – 1st in equipment design and troubleshooting, Video Production Team

• Evan Schotzko – 1st in Conference and Event Planning

• Braxton Seifert – 1st in Personal Finance Management

• Cloie Stevens – 1st in Business, Human Resources Management

• Augie Sturrock – 1st in Financial Math and Analysis Concepts, JAVA Programming

• Brennen Thooft – 1st in essential spray equipment



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