Dozens of students going to state BPA contest

Dozens of students from Odessa and Permian high schools will be heading to the Texas Business Professionals of America competition next week.

The contest runs Feb. 28 through March 4 in Corpus Christi, Executive Director of Career & Counseling Services Carla Byrne said.

Students compete in areas such as banking and finance, personal financial management, business law and ethics, digital publishing, fundamental desktop publishing, entrepreneurship and interview skills, Byrne said.

“We’ve had national champions before, so knock on wood, I’m sure we’ll have some kids go to nationals. …,” Byrne added.

She added that the national competition is in Dallas this year.

“There are a lot of positive things that come through this. One of them is that kids have the opportunity to earn scholarships while they’re there … and even just participating looks beautiful on their resumes when they’re applying to college, which is something that they’re going to need,” Byrne said.

The contest also helps ECISD showcase the “terrific” programs it has.

“They’re terrific because of our teachers and the students. We’re just really proud of them,” Byrne said.

Permian High School graphic design teacher Candy Thompson said 35 students are going from Permian. She added that she’s looking forward to journey, although it’s hectic because she’ll have to keep track of dozens of students and make sure they make it to the right competitions on the right days in the right locations.

She’ll also be judging other competitions while there.

“Hopefully, we’ll be taking a few to nationals,” Thompson said.

Dana Estep, career and technical education department chair at Odessa High School, said 13 students from her campus will be participating in the state contests. Estep also teaches accounting 1 and 2, career prep and touch systems.

She said she thinks some of the students have a good chance of making nationals this year.

The Texas conference is huge with 3,000 to 4,000 students, Estep said. She added that the students usually take in some attractions when they’re not at a contest.

“It’s a great group of kids going this year,” Estep said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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