Dora High School students ranked high in the crowd at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference earlier this month.
BPA adviser Colleen Tollett said Dora and Melrose students competed at the national conference.
Dora’s parliamentary procedure team, composed of first-year competitors, took second place out of 30 teams, and the school’s website design team placed ninth among 32 teams. Some students competed as individuals but didn’t place.
Melrose had no top 10 finishes, according to Business Professionals of America.
Tollett took 14 students to Washington, D.C., for the conference May 4-8. Students had to qualify in the state competition individually or as a team or earn enough “torch award” points for community involvement to go to the national conference.
“It was an outstanding trip,” Tollett said. “The students really not only enjoyed the trip, but also benefited from visiting the nation’s capital.”
The Dora students spoke with Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., in his office, and Tollett said it was a great learning experience for them to visit and see what member of Congress do.
“I think it enhanced their political awareness,” she said.
The group also toured landmarks in Washington, D.C.
Dora freshman Katie Bickley was a member of the parliamentary procedure team.
“It was challenging,” she said of the competition. “It was kind of scary competing at the national level, but it was cool. It was a really good experience.”
Bickley’s favorite part of the trip was seeing monuments, including having the conference opening session on the lawn of the Washington Monument.
To prepare for the national conference, she said, the parliamentary procedure team practiced two or three times a week. She also practiced whenever she had time for her individual competition in database applications.
Bickley learned a lot about parliamentary procedure and database applications through the contests, which she thought was good workforce preparation.
Dora junior Ashley Kanmore also competed on the parliamentary procedure team and found the contest exciting.
“I learned lots of teamwork this year with a new team,” Kanmore said. “We had lots of struggles and head-butting, but we came out really good and did really good.”
The group learned to work past their differences, she said.
Kanmore said she enjoyed seeing the documents in the National Archives, and she liked visiting the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial because of the scene set in those places in her favorite movie, “Forrest Gump.”
Dora senior Jordan Inge earned her way to nationals through torch award points. While there, she did “super interning,” which involves such things as proctoring events and directing interns.
“It was great,” Inge said of the trip. “I’ve been to Washington before, but I was young. This time I understood it a lot better.”
Inge said the Korean War Veterans Memorial was touching, leading her to think about what the soldiers had gone through during the war.