The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 29, 2012

A-Tech business student excels at state, preparing for BPA nationals


Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus students proved to be quite successful at the Business Professionals of America state competition held in Columbus March 15, with one student advancing on to national competition next month.

Danielle Jablonski won second place at the state competition in her field of Integrated Office Applications and earned the right to go to Chicago at the end of April to compete against students from all over the country.

“I was overwhelmed, insane, excited,” said Jablonski when they called her name as the second place winner. “It still hasn’t sunk in. It really hasn’t.”

She says she is devoting herself to improving her performance. “I’m going to use the time between now and nationals to work on my presentation and fix the spreadsheet application. I’m nervous and excited to be going to Chicago.”

A number of the students who competed at the state competition earned a top 10 placement.

BPA adviser Marianne Gullo is proud of this year’s group and their work ethic.

“Students love competition,” Gullo said. “When students attend the Regional Awards and see how many actually win and go on to state level, their confidence is boosted. They know if they do the work that they can succeed.”

The list of winners includes students in a number of specialties. BPA adviser Harley Hodge is also impressed with how well the students did.

“I am proud of all the students who competed. They worked hard and did an awesome job!” Hodge said.

Top ten finalists:

Integrated Office Applications - Danielle Jablonski

C++ Programming - Luis Gonzalez

Fundaments of Web Design - Melanie Martinez

Computer Security - Joseph Huggins

Digital Media Production - Tyler Castle (A-Tech-Grand Valley Multi Media)

Web Site Design Team - Michael McArdle, Mitchelle Martinez, Nicholas Negron, Juan     Lopez

Broadcast News Production Team - Jenson Kassay, Kyle Orgovan, Matthew Storer,     Nathanael Wengerd (A-Tech-Grand Valley Multi Media)

The mission of Business Professionals of America is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills.

While in Columbus, the students stayed at the Hyatt Regency at the city’s Convention Center. Students participated in various other BPA activities and attended the awards ceremony at Grove City Nazarene Church.

FCCLA Competition

Three Early Childhood Education seniors put together a project for the Family Career and Community Leaders of America competition focused on helping children.  Amarilys Maldonado, Niki Nunley and Karly Wisnyai won a gold medal at the Students Taking Action with Recognition program held in Akron recently, and will be heading to Columbus on April 19 and 20 for the FCCLA state competition.

The STAR program is focused on recognizing students for their proficiency and achievement in their chapter service projects. The team focused on their work decorating the children’s wing of the Ashtabula County Medical Center, coordinated the collection and giving of Christmas gifts through the local Children Services and collected more than 300 stuffed animals for Cleveland Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

The girls are preparing for the state competition and are creating care packages for children in both ACMC and Akron Children’s Hospitals.

“This has been an experience I will never forget. It has always been my goal to help others, and I feel that FCCLA has given me an opportunity to do this in a way that has truly changed my life,” Nunley said.

ECE students

take special class

The seniors in the Early Childhood Education class took the Ohio Department of Health’s Communicable Disease curriculum class for child care providers. The six hour class, led by nurse Chris Kettunen from the Ashtabula County Health Department, taught the students about such things as employee safety, immunizations, proper hand washing procedures, cleaning and disinfecting tips, and medication administration.

This class, along with a child abuse course taken earlier this year, and upcoming cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid classes, are all needed in order for the students to receive their end of the year certificates and are also a necessity in getting a job that involves working closely with children.

    ECE senior Becca Leonard says that, “I’m grateful that I was given the chance to take this course, and I think that it will help me greatly in the future.

Cosmetology students

take mock state boards

Cosmetology students get prepared to be licensed by taking their mock state board exam four times throughout the year. The practice gets them prepared for the real state board exams, which is required for them to get an Ohio cosmetology license. During mock state boards, three or four proctors watch the students as they do a number of skills they have learned. The preparation the students have by taking the mock exams leads to tremendous success for A-Tech students when they take their state boards.

“We are in the top 2 percent of all schools,” said cosmetology instructor Judy Divine, referring to A-Tech’s first time passage rate. “This includes private, as well as public schools,” she added.

Cool government

class project

Students in Mary Beckwith’s seventh period government class found out how hard it can be to get others to recognize their concerns when they undertook a petition drive to change the school’s recent lunch menu changes.

A group of senior students felt that due to the enactment of provisions under Senate Bill 210, their freedom of choice was being affected in the foods and meals they can purchase at lunchtime. The bill attempts to provide healthier choices for students at lunch, and has resulted in the elimination of such food items as milkshakes, nachos, hot pretzels and ice cream. The cafeteria is also no longer selling water, V8 juices or Gatorade, and vending machines are no longer allowed to be used during the school day. The changes are the result of trying to comply with the new regulations.

The students felt that the intention might have been to provide for healthier menu choices, but instead has resulted in a limited amount of choices available in the school lunch lines. To combat this, the students created a letter outlining their concerns. Then, each student received a copy of the petition, which they tried to get students and teachers alike to sign. They also brainstormed a variety of alternative ideas including making milkshakes with fresh fruit, fat-free milk and yogurt. They also thought it would be a good idea if fresh fruit, a salad and freshly made fruit smoothies were added to the lunch menu.

The students managed to collect about 130 signatures.