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Mariner Middle business students shine at national convention

Students rank among the best, earn multiple certifications
June 6, 2019

In only its second year as a club, Mariner Middle Business Professionals of America members rank among the best in the country. After collecting five individual and two team awards at the state competition, students earned invitations to the national BPA conference in Anaheim May 1-5.

Mariner’s presentation team placed third nationally, the administrative support team finished 11th, and Andrew Criswell challenged 222 other middle school students to place seventh in business communications. Presentation team members Morgan Newcomb, Mackinzie Brown, Sophie Zych and Sara Dawson chose to revitalize the brand of local business King’s Ice Cream. After conducting research online and with the store’s owner and family, students created a business plan and refreshed the company logo.

Students said online research shows many families travel with pets, so they created an ice cream specifically for animals. Mariner teacher and BPA advisor Daniel Shockley said students did a phenomenal job. “They thought of ways to make it innovative for a new generation while keeping traditional elements of the easily recognizable logo,” Shockley said.

Mariner’s administrative support team, comprising Amelia Phelps, Lexi Cleaver and Jetta Hastings functioned as an office staff tasked with creating a grand-opening flyer, menu, PowerPoint and brochure for a new restaurant in just one hour. The team finished eleventh nationally.

Andrew Criswell chose an individual competition, keyboarding. His accuracy and speed placed him seventh in the nation. Andrew was also judged through questions on scenarios involving business communications and computer skills.

Several students sat for exams to earn national certifications. Mackinzie, Morgan and Sara obtained certification in 21st Century Employment Skills, which highlights personal traits, skills and knowledge necessary to integrate into postsecondary studies or the global workforce. Morgan also scored 96 percent on the Leadership Principles exam, which focuses on time management, leadership styles, leadership history, diversity and critical decision-making.

Shockley said Mackinzie, Sara and Morgan are the first and only Cape students to sit for and pass these exams. “They are all an extraordinary group of students,” Shockley said. “Athletes, scholars and now, state and national award-winning business professionals. They truly represent the best in the district. I could not be more proud of them.”