Oak Hill High School business students win state title for 25th consecutive year

The Oak Hill High School chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America took first place in a national competition this month. It is the 25th year in a row that they have won. Competitions centered around business skills. photo submitted

For the past 25 years, Oak Hill High School’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter has placed first in the Maine State Championship every year.

There was a lot of pressure in the state competition this year, said club advisor Angela Roy.

“No one wants to lose a winning streak at the age of 25,” says co-adviser Erica Beaule.

But the school’s contingent of 35 students racked up enough points in the business-focused competition to cement a quarter-century of victories.

Future Business Leaders of America is a national organization that helps students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs. Students take part in a variety of written tests, public speaking, and project-based competitions.

This year, Oak Hill students received a total of 25 first, 23 second, and 12 third awards. One student, Junior Nhi Nguyen, won eight awards alone, Roy said.

Three students were also elected to the state board. Nguyen is now the Vice President of the Maine FBLA, Junior Destiny Samare is the treasurer, and Junior Sarah Rossignol is the reporter.

Earlier this year, advisors helped match students to competitive events based on their strengths. Students studied for exams and practiced presentations after school. As the competition gets closer, the preparation gets more intense, Roy said.

For the two weeks leading up to the state competition in early March, Roy and his colleague Beaule worked with the students for hours every day, including weekends. Both were once members of Oak Hill’s FBLA program as undergraduates.

They attributed the program’s success to student engagement. The competitive structure of the program is particularly important for student motivation.

“We give them quite a lot to do and they pull it off,” Roy said.

FBLA helps students build a variety of different skills, she explained. It offers students the opportunity to network with local professionals and serve their community.

Earlier this year, Oak Hill FBLA collected more than four garbage bags of clothing to donate to Maine Needs.

“These kids were in their 25th year, but it took 24 years of kids to get us here,” Roy said.

The students will not compete in the national competition in Atlanta this year, primarily because of the expense, Roy said. However, they hope to travel with students to attend next year’s national championship scheduled for Anaheim, California.


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