West BPA members compete at regional competition

The open-house esque event allowed members to test-run their competitive events before the State Leadership Conference in mid February.

Alex Carlon, Online Editor-in-Chief

West’s chapter of Business Professionals of America hosted its annual regional competition on Jan. 26 for the second year since the revival of the event in early 2019. Unlike last year, students competed solely against other West BPA members to prepare for the State Leadership Conference in February.

Competitive events in BPA, also known as the Workplace Skills Assessment program (WSAP), are events that test students in a wide range of business fields. A majority of events include some sort of written/designed component (e.g. a business plan, research paper or graphic design) and a presentation aspect. Regionals was the first time during the school year that students presented their events in front of expert judges before the all-important state competition.

At state, members will compete against students from schools across Iowa in hopes of qualifying for the National Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. At regionals, judges from the community hoped to simulate the intense atmosphere that members will experience as they compete at state while also allowing time for feedback and critiques. Students also were only competing against other West BPA members, adding to the more relaxed atmosphere of the event.

For first-year BPA members, regionals is also a low-risk introduction to the competitive aspect of the club. Co-BPA adviser and business teacher Diane Fickel believes the event succeeded in this way and that every participant, regardless of experience level, was successful. Fickel worked along business teacher and co-BPA adviser Abbie Weipert to prepare students for the day.

“Seeing 50 members of the West High BPA chapter come together today for our regional competition gets me super excited for state,” Fickel said. “Every participant did a great job, and the judges were wowed by the caliber of the West High students.”

The following students won their respective events at the regional competition:


Isabelle Paulsen ’21 – Fundamentals of Web Design

Matt Karwal ’20 – Banking and Finance

Elias Davis ’23 – Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications

Luke Arens ’21 – Business Law and Ethics

Fred Syata ’21 – Legal Office Procedures

Evan Heller ’21 – Fundamental Accounting

Andrew Yu ’20 – Computer Security


Individual Events:

Alyssa Skala ’21 – Graphic Design Promotion

Alex Carlon ’21 – Administrative Support Individual and Economic Research Individual

Sara Baroncini ’21 – Digital Media Production

Reagan Yamashita ’22 – Prepared Speech 

Margaret Liu ’21 – Extemporaneous Speech

Connor Hayes ’20 – Human Resource Management

Sara Hamed ’20 – Interview Skills and Entrepreneurship

Schuyler Houston ’21 – Advanced Interview Skills 


Team Events:

Sophia Davis ’21 and Taylor Steggall ’20 – Global Marketing Team

Payton Devena ’22 and Tyesha Thompson ’22 – Small Business Management Team

Matt Karwal ’20, Zhui Zhui Chen ’20, Marcos Cheng ’21, Luma Makawi ’20 – Economic Research Team

Sara Baroncini ’21, Camille Gretter ’23, John Woodward ’23 – Broadcast News Team

Abby McKeone ’21, Isabelle Paulsen ’21, Fred Syata ’21, Luke Arens ’21 – Website Design Team