26 West BPA members qualify for national conference

West High’s chapter also boasts two new members of Iowa’s BPA State Officer Board.

Alex Carlon, Online Editor-in-Chief

At the virtual awards ceremony held Feb. 28, it was announced that 26 members of West High’s Business Professionals of America chapter had placed in their events at the State Leadership Conference. These students will advance to the National Leadership Conference this spring.

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, this year’s state conference was held virtually, with students competing via video conference with their judges. Also taking place virtually were state officer elections. After delivering speeches to voting delegates and answering questions during the caucus period, two West High students were elected to the state board. Alex Curtu ’22 was named secretary, and Payton DeVena ’22 is the 2021-22 secondary division vice-president. They will replace this year’s state officer board, of which West chapter members Schuyler Houston ’21 and Sophia Davis ’21 are currently members of.

“I am super excited to be elected to next year’s state officer team because I think we all have some great ideas that will make BPA the best it’s been yet,” Curtu said. “I am overall super happy to be working with passionate hard-workers.”

Despite the challenges faced by West’s chapter during this unconventional year, DeVena feels as though members brought their A-game and were able to use the unique format to their advantage.

“BPA was so different this year but that didn’t stop West BPA at all,” she said. “All of West BPA did so good and I’m so proud of everyone.”

The following teams and individuals placed at state and will advance to the national conference:



Sophia Davis ’21, Payton DeVena ’22, Mary Woodwad ’21 – State Champions, Small Business Management Team

Silvia Tinelli ’21, Margaret Liu ’21, Kevin Lu ’21, Alex Curtu ’22 – State Champions, Presentation Management Team 

Jane Lam ’24, Finley Bevelacqua ’23, Ava Graf ’23 – Second Place, Presentation Management Team

Sara Baroncini ’21, Izzy Paulsen ’21, Abby McKeone ’21, Schuyler Houston ’21 – State Champions, Website Design Team

Ava Waddilove ’23, Karen Liu ’24, Ella Scott ’23, Mohana Sunkara ’23 – State Champions, Broadcast News Production Team



Alex Carlon ’21 – State Champion, Administrative Support Research Project

Mary Woodward ’21 – State Champion, Advanced Interview Skills

Schuyler Houston ’21 – Second Place, Advanced Interview Skills

Sophia Davis ’21 – Fourth Place, Business Management Concepts

Sara Baroncini ’21 – State Champion, Digital Media Production

Sophia Davis ’21 – State Champion, Entrepreneurship

Aashika Gadkari ’22 – Second Place, Entrepreneurship

Ava Graf ’23 – State Champion, Extemporaneous Speech

Eva Jordan ’23 – Third Place, Extemporaneous Speech 

Izzy Paulsen ’21 – State Champion, Fundamentals of Web Design

Jada Dachtler ’21 – Second Place, Graphic Design Promotion

Eva Jordan ’23 – Third Place, Graphic Design Promotion

Alex Curtu ’22 – State Champion, Interview Skills

Nathan Stephens ’22 – Second Place, Health Insurance and Medical Billing

Ava Waddilove ’23 – State Champion, Health Leadership/Special Topics

Zach Buchholz ’23 – State Champion, Java Programming 

Reagan Yamashita ’22 – Fourth Place, Legal Office Procedures

Sophia Davis ’21 – Third Place, Management, Marketing and HR Concepts

Sophia Davis ’21 – State Champion, Medical Terminology Concepts

Reagan Yamashita ’22 – State Champion, Prepared Speech

Alex Carlon ’21 – State Champion, Presentation Management Individual

John Woodward ’23 – Second Place, Presentation Management Individual

Ella Scott ’23 – Third Place, Presentation Management Individual