Article: Parish schools, Tech win big at FBLA conference

Feb 18, 2020 | Business, Engagement

Note: This article appeared in the Ruston Daily Leader on Feb. 12, 2020. 
Written by Caleb Daniel

Lincoln Parish turned in a strong collective showing at last week’s Future Business Leaders of America District II Leadership Conference, which was hosted for the first time by Louisiana Tech University.

Over 800 FBLA members from across much of central and north Louisiana converged on Tech’s College of Business campus and competed in dozens of events in a wide variety of business and leadership subjects, from things like health care administration and marketing to journalism and computer problem solving.

Ruston High School led the way, claiming 18 district championships, with 23 individuals and teams qualifying to compete at the state FBLA conference. Cedar Creek School brought home nine district championships at the high school level and six at the middle school level.

While racking up all these awards, students also had the opportunity to tour the College of Business. LeAnn Waldroup, director of communications for the college, said the conference was a great opportunity for Tech to interact with the next generation’s best and brightest.

“These are the top notch business students in the high schools, and we wanted them to see what all we have to offer,” Waldroup said.

Tech also gave out a handful of scholarships, including two for the students who earned the conference’s highest individual honors — Mr. and Mrs. Future Business Leader. This year, RHS seniors Christian Payne and Amanda Meng laid claim to those respective titles, making it the second year in a row they would both be awarded to Ruston High.

Payne and Meng have each made headlines recently, Payne for receiving an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and Meng for being named Lincoln Parish Schools High School Student of the Year last month.

While full awards listings for all schools had not been released by Louisiana FBLA by press time Tuesday, the RHS, Cedar Creek high school and middle school, Ruston Junior High School, I.A. Lewis School, Simsboro High School, and Choudrant High School chapters each competed at a high level.

All students who received a superior rating in their events are eligible to compete at the state level.

Waldroup said Tech and the College of Business benefited greatly from the opportunity to host the event.

“We got some really great feedback from the students who were here,” she said. “We loved being able to show off campus. It was really the perfect event for us to host.”