Mariner business students reach finals in national competition

Alivia Longo becomes most individually awarded BPA member in district history
June 14, 2022

Mariner Middle students netted a host of top 10 finishes and accolades at the 2022 Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Dallas in May.

BPA members Regan Best, Rylie Cathcart, Bridgett Cole, Audrey Hershelman, Caleb Marcus, Chloe DeForrest, Alivia Longo and Gabby Hamstead had previously qualified for nationals during the state competition in February.

In national action, Regan, Riley, Bridgett and Audrey earned first place in administrative support; Caleb finished third in digital citizenship; Chloe finished third in graphic design; and Alivia placed fifth in graphic design, said team advisor and teacher Daniel Shockley.

“The administrative support team finished second nationally last year and is the first [Mariner] team to make it back to nationals,” Shockley said. “And with her fifth award, Alivia is now the most individually awarded BPA member in district history.”  

Regan, Rylie, Bridgett and Audrey each secured a Torch Ambassador Award, the highest recognition available through BPA for their commitment to community service, Shockley said.

Chloe was one of only two middle school students in the country to earn the 2022 United States Presidential Service Award, and Caleb obtained an industry certification in digital learning, despite stepping on his glasses while deplaning in Dallas.

When not competing, students toured Dallas Aquarium, where they saw manatees and alligators; explored the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium; rode horses and watched a longhorn cattle drive at Fort Worth Stockyards; and visited the Deep Ellum art district, Dallas Farmers Market, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza.

Looking forward to building next year’s team, Shockley said he expects rising eighth-graders Gabby and Caleb to step into leadership roles, along with Alivia’s younger sister who traveled with the team as a sixth-grader. Rising freshmen students said they anticipate joining the BPA club at Cape High.

Shockley said this year’s extremely talented cohort was the best of the best.  

“To that end, at the end of each year, I assign a brand to each cohort,” he said. “From our ‘First 15’ five years ago when we began, to our 2020-21 cohort that was in a ‘League of Their Own,’ each group has played a significant role in the history of our chapter. Cohort 5, this year’s group will be ‘More Than Memories.’ Not only will we continue to hear and read about them, but they serve as a reminder that we are more than just a team – we are a family. In the end, it is all about giving the kids an experience they will remember always.”


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