Rifle excels in FBLA competition
Over the years, Rifle High School’s Future Business Leaders of America organization has been very competitive at state competitions. This year was no exception, with 14 students placing in the top 10 in 12 different categories at the district conference at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction on Monday, Feb. 7. Eleven students qualified to advance to the Colorado State FBLA Convention, April 17-19 in Vail. The Rifle High School team competed against approximately 650 students from 26 Western Slope schools.Those students qualifying for the state competition are Steven Samson in Visual Basic programming and introduction to parliamentary procedure, James Andre and Silas Buss in network design team, Alicia Eggen in international business, James Andre in C++ programming, Hannah Brock and Milton Arroyo in Web site development, George Keeper in introduction to business, Carrie Kreimier in FBLA principals and procedures, Elizabeth Richardson in economics, Mollie Simms in public speaking I and Paula Fazzi in FBLA principles and procedures.Future Business Leaders of America is a local, state and national organization for secondary students (grades 9-12) who are participating in business and business-related programs. The purpose of FBLA is to provide, as an integral part of the instructional program, additional opportunities for secondary students in business, business-related fields or both to develop career and technical supportive competencies, and to promote civic and personal responsibilities.The Rifle High School FBLA program has sparked the imaginations and honed the leadership and interpersonal skills of hundreds of students. Through pubic speaking, parliamentary procedure, and business skills competitions, students get hands-on experience in the business world.”FBLA makes a lot of theory that we discuss through textbooks come alive through real-world application,” said Rifle High School business instructor and FBLA sponsor Marilyn Latham. “These students get to put their skills into practice in a competitive situation.”Swashbuckling in social studiesIn Margaret Hesse’s Riverside social studies class, fifth-graders were swashbuckling with the enemy, destroying British encampments and capturing territory as part of re-enactments of the Revolutionary War.The event was one of the assessments that Hesse used to gauge how well her students understood the material they had just covered. Students broke up into teams, and rather than take a quiz listing dates and names associated with the Revolutionary War, students had to re-enact a battle of their choice and teach the rest of the class the significant points about that battle.The re-enactments seemed like a good way to learn the material, Hesse said, since the class had just completed several tests plus an independent written activity about the Revolutionary War.”I wanted them to know more about the battles but learn it in a fun way,” Hesse explained.All of the key players were represented – including George Washington, John Burgoyne and Benedict Arnold – as the teams presented the information and raised their respective flags after the battles were complete. The teams then asked specific questions to see if their peers were paying attention. In return, the class got to ask questions of the presenters if something was not clear or for additional information.In all, the assignment covered not only state standards for history, but also for language arts. Hesse also incorporated many of the Center for Leadership in School Reform design qualities in the lesson, including authenticity, product focus, clear product standards, affiliation and choice.”I saw lots of great planning and teamwork happening, plus some real creativity,” Hesse said after her students completed their presentations. “Most of the class was very enthusiastic about the assignment, and I could tell if they understood the project and met the goals based on their explanations and how well they could answer questions from the rest of the class. I was very proud of them.”Theresa Hamilton is director of districtwide services for Garfield School District Re-2.
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