2023 West BPA: a year in review

The Business Professionals of America team had a busy year filled with awards and recognitions.


Gianna Liu

Myra Crawford ’26 and Helelia Kalala ’23 pose for a photo with 2022 BPA National Executive Board officers.

Jane Lam and Eva Jordan

As the school year comes to an end, West Business Professionals of America members reflect on their journey and growth. This year, West took 41 people to the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA, the biggest group in school history. Ms. Hudachek, a third-year advisor, played a crucial role in making this possible.

I think the most challenging experience this year was trying to figure out how to get everyone to California for Nationals,” Hudachek said. “We had a record number of students qualify for Nationals which was outstanding but also a little daunting. I’m honestly not sure if I could have done it all on my own. Mrs. Fickel and I work together so well and that’s the reason we were able to make everything happen.” 

Mrs. Fickel and I work together so well and that’s the reason we were able to make everything happen.

— Ms. Hudachek

Once in Anaheim, West represented in many highly competitive events, such as Presentation Management and Prepared Speech. 18 members were finalists in their respective events, meaning they placed in the top ten of up to 75 other competitors. Finalists are listed below.


Interview Skills – Karen Liu ’24

Advanced Interview Skills – Himani Laroia ’23 and Mohana Sunkara ’23

Presentation Management Team – Audrey Crawford ’26 and Myra Crawford ’26

Global Marketing Team – Elias Davis ’23, Mitch Frey ’23 and Parker Vick ’23

Podcast Production Team – Wesal Haroun ’24, Jane Lam ’24 and Catherine Yang ’23

Economic Research – Biswash Bhattarai ’23

Small Business Management Team – Layan Ahmed ’25, Himani Laroia ’23 and Helena Wa ’23

Prepared Speech – Allison Asay ’26

Health Administration Special Topics – Wesal Haroun ’24

UX Design Team – Biswash Bhattarai ’23 and Eva Jordan ’23

Computer Programming Concepts – Zach Buchholz ’23 (1st place)

Website Design Team – Zach Buchholz ’23, Dillon Croco ’24, James Dickens ’23 and John Woodward ’23


Nationals is the highest level of competition for BPA, and for many seniors, their last chance to compete ever. 

“It never stops amazing me the growth that you see in students from the beginning of the year to when they are preparing to go into their event room at Nationals,” Hudachek said. John Woodward ’23 has been in BPA all four years of high school, and has served as Iowa BPA President for the past year. 

“When I joined, I was an immature, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kid that really didn’t know what he was doing,” Woodward said. Since then, he has competed every year in events such as Presentation Management, HR Management and Website Design Team. After being Iowa BPA President for the ‘22-’23 school year, he ran on the platform of “Empowering Student Leaders,” and was elected to office as Parliamentarian. Though Woodward is graduating, his BPA involvement is far from over.

As a national officer I will be working with my team to improve the organization and plan our Student Leadership Summit as well as the National Leadership Conference,” Woodward said. Leadership positions are just one of the growth opportunities BPA provides. Woodward reflects on how BPA has impacted him throughout his time in high school:

I’ve really come into myself and realized who I am and what path I am on.

— John Woodward '23

I’ve really come into myself and realized who I am and what path I am on,” he said.