Switzerland County BPA members excel at National Leadership Conference


On Wednesday, May 8th, 12 students and three teachers from Switzerland County left for the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Three of these students were from Switzerland County Middle School’s newly-minted Middle Level chapter. All students attending had either qualified through competitive events, torch award participation, or voting delegate status.

Soon after arriving, the Administrative Support Team competed in its event. The following morning, the students participated in the annual “Walk for Special Olympics”, where over $10,000 was raised for the cause.

Later Thursday afternoon, competitive events continued. Six Secondary and three Middle Level students competed in their respective events.

On the second evening, at the second general session, Switzerland County BPA was awarded the ‘Chapter Activities Award’ of excellence.

This prestigious award is given to the most involved chapters in the United States. Additionally, Switzerland County BPA earned recognition for the Community Action, Environmental Action, and Marketing and Public Relations awards. The chapter was also awarded the Special Olympics award for its dedication to BPA’s national service project.


Switzerland County students had an impressive conference:

- The standout in competitive events was Summer Dickerson, placing 5th in Keyboarding and 8th in Spreadsheet Applications.

– Kendra Roark placed 12th in her two events Extemporaneous Speech and Keyboarding.

– The Administrative Support team, comprised of Erika Coy, Shyla Prince, Micah Works, and Lindsey Turner, placed in the top 50-percent at the national level.

– Other competitors placed in the top half of their events as well, including: Devin Coy in Banking and Finance and Audrey Kinne in Keyboarding.

– Lauren Edwards received the Ambassador Torch Award, the highest level of recognition for the program.

The Torch Awards Program is designed to award members who are active in their community as well as having leadership roles in their school. To earn a national Torch Award, you must earn 70 points in each of the seven categories.

In addition to receiving an Ambassador Torch Award, Lauren Edwards also participated in the Leadership Academy and served as a Conference Intern. The Leadership Academy’s purpose is to help students learn how to excel in future leadership positions while having fun and making friends.

As an intern, Lauren assisted with the Open Events testing room and the Certification Lab.

Chloe Griffin and Logan Todd also interned while at the conference at the testing room and lab, as well as the intern desk.

– Many students and staff also earned Microsoft certification, with a total of 14 certifications.

Those certified in PowerPoint were: Celby Kinney, Erika Coy, Logan Todd, Lindsey Turner, Micah Works, teacher Angie Grubbs, and teacher Kodi Thayer.

Those certified in Word were: Erika Coy, Lindsey Turner, Chloe Griffin, and teacher Kodi Thayer. Kodi Thayer also earned Excel certification.

– Shyla Prince and teacher Debbie Seaver earned the coveted Access certification.

– Students and advisors were invited to compete in the BPA Merit Scholar exam. Business teacher and BPA advisor at the high school Kodi Thayer, placed fifth out of over 500 competitors in the BPA Merit Scholar test.


On Saturday students had the opportunity to go to Universal Studios, with the highlight being the new Harry Potter World.

That evening, at the Grand Awards ceremony, the state of Indiana was awarded the Professional Cup. This award is given to the state association that shows the greatest growth and excellence throughout their constituency.

This was quite exciting, because this year Switzerland County had two state officers, Chloe Griffin and Logan Todd, who served the state association.

These officers were also able to serve as voting delegates to the conference. Of the six national officers elected at the award ceremony, two were state officers from Indiana.

The state advisor, Betty Hazlett, stated “The Professional Cup will be residing at Switzerland County High School for a portion of this year as a reward for the large part they played in Indiana’s recognition.”


The students and staff would like to thank the school and community for its generous support in order to make this trip possible: Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation, SWITZCO, MainSource Bank, Friendship State Bank, the Switzerland County School Endowment, Switzerland County Public Library, CashSaver, American Legion, Mustard Lady, and Switzerland County Schools.