By Woodrow Polston
The 2022 Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference was held at the Expo Center in Springfield, Mo., last week. Cameron Jones, a Van-Far senior, competed in two categories and earned first place in business calculations and third place in business communications. This marks the second year in a row that Cameron has advanced to the National Leadership Conference. He is the first student in Van-Far’s history to earn this accomplishment.
“There were 95 students competing in the business calculations event that Cameron placed first in,” said business and technology teacher Becky McCurdy. “There were 85 students in the business communications event that he earned third place in. Cameron is our first student to qualify for nationals and he has done so two years in a row. It is amazing to qualify for nationals but even more so to qualify twice. We are very excited for him,” she added.
The concept for FBLA was developed in 1937 and the first high school chapter was chartered in Tennessee in 1942. In 1958, the first collegiate chapter of Phi Beta Lambda was chartered in Iowa. The FBLA-Middle Level Division was started in 1994 for students in grades fifth through ninth. The Alumni & Professional Network, to be established in 2021, is rooted in the former Professional Division (originally the Alumni Division), which began in 1979. According to their website, some of the goals of FBLA members include developing competent, aggressive business leadership, creating more interest in and understanding of American business enterprise, and to facilitate the transition from school to work.
“It’s going to be really exciting to go to the National Leadership Conference,” said Jones. “I qualified for nationals last year but was unable to attend due to the pandemic. Right now, I am focused on end of the school year work, but I will be studying for the conference ahead of the event,” he added.
The conference will be held on June 29 through July 2 this year in Chicago. News of having representation at the national conference has generated a lot of pride and excitement at Van-Far High. Superintendent John Fortney said that the district is very proud of Cameron’s work.
“We are very proud of our student’s efforts and achievements,” said Fortney. “Cameron is a young man that really embodies the great academic opportunities that we present to our kids here at Van-Far. We are excited to see him represent his family and his community in the upcoming contests,” he added.
“This is the first time we have been able to attend in person since the pandemic began in 2020,” said McCurdy. “When he qualified last year, we were so disappointed that we could not attend. I am very upset that I do not get to go because I will be in Indianapolis for a softball tournament. But he will have representation with him from the school,” she added.