IRHS students earn honors at BPA State Leadership Conference

9 IRHS BPA honored

Indian River High School students teamed to claim a number of honors at the State Leadership Conference held Feb. 23 in Dover in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Business Professionals of America (BPA). IRHS honorees, front row from left: Maddison Baker, David Clark, Morgan Bartholomew and Hayden McWilliams. Back row from left: James Brannon, Jake Elliott, Griffin McCormick and John Wharton.

DOVER – Twenty-one future leaders from Indian River High School marked the 50th Anniversary of Business Professionals of America (BPA) by competing at the State Leadership Conference in Dover on February 23.

Students showed their knowledge of 21st century business skills by vying with the best and brightest students statewide in events that included Economic Research, Payroll Accounting, Interview Skills, Video Production and PC Troubleshooting.

Stakes were high as only the top few would earn places on the State of Delaware’s delegation to the BPA National Leadership Conference on May 5-9 in Boston.

Eight Indian River High School students brought home trophies in nine separate team and individual events and earned places on the State of Delaware delegation. These students were:

1st Place – Video Production Team, Madison Baker & Morgan Bartholomew.

1st Place – Financial Math & Analysis, Hayden McWilliams.

2nd Place – Economic Research, David Clark.

2nd Place – Interview Skills, John Wharton.

2nd Place – PC Troubleshooting, Jacob Elliott.

2nd Place – Payroll Accounting, David Clark.

2nd Place – Personal Financial Management, Hayden McWilliams.

2nd Place – Prepared Speech, Griffin McCormick.

3rd Place – Fundamentals of Accounting, James Brannon.

Additionally, five IRHS students were recognized for their service to the community through BPA’s prestigious Torch Awards program. The Torch Awards program provides structure and guidance to BPA members as they develop their leadership and networking skills through service to their chapter and the community at large. Students completed activities in the seven Torch categories: Leadership; Service; Cooperation; Knowledge; Friendship; Love, Hope, Faith; and Patriotism.

Students earning 30 points in each category were recognized with Diplomat status. Students earning 50 points in each category were awarded Statesman status – the highest honor possible at the state level.

Statesman: David Clark.

Diplomat: Kennedy Butch, Helen Davis, Joseph D’Orazio, Griffin McCormick.

When not competing, IRHS students forged new friendships and established new networks while developing their leadership and business skills through a series of seminars and interactive workshops. Voting delegates also cast their votes for the 2016-2017 BPA State Officer Leadership Team.

After faithfully serving as president of his BPA chapter at IRHS for the 2015-16 school year, David Clark successfully campaigned for a position on the BPA State Officer Leadership Team (SOLT). Voting delegates were sufficiently impressed with David’s vision for the state organization to elect him to the position of SOLT Vice President for the 2016-2017 term.


Business Professionals of America is a national organization for middle school, high school and college students who are learning about business. The organization’s activities and programs complement classroom instruction by giving students practical experience through the application of skills learned at school. Business Professionals of America acts as a cohesive agent in the nationwide networking of education and business industry. It is contributing to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academics and technological skills

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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