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Knights earn national honors in FBLA contests
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Knights earn national honors in FBLA contests

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MURDOCK – Elmwood-Murdock students secured a chance to shine on a national stage this summer with their work on Future Business Leaders of America projects.

Six Knights captured major honors at the 2021 FBLA National Leadership Conference. Bailey Frahm, Sela Rikli, Lexi Bacon, Rylee Hogue, Kylee Rieflin and Nate Lockman placed in the top ten of their national events. They earned chances to smile with FBLA trophies in the Elmwood-Murdock gym over the past two weeks.

Noah Arent, Gus Pope, Claire Ernst and Levi Offner joined their classmates at the national conference. FBLA events took place on a virtual basis due to the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 9,324 students from across the United States took part in dozens of competitive events.

Elmwood-Murdock FBLA co-advisors Laura Rikli and Jacob Shaffer said they were happy to see the Knights achieve success on a national scale. The summer convention was the culmination of months of hard work by all members of the FBLA chapter.

“Elmwood-Murdock FBLA was elated to secure two top-ten placements at the 2021 National Leadership Conference this summer,” Rikli said. “Ten students competed in the national competition and six received a qualifying finish.”

The ten Knights captured spots in the national conference this past spring. They generated state medals in their business-related events. They then repeated their state presentations for national judges this summer.

Bacon, Frahm and Rikli earned eighth place in the nation in the Partnership With Business Project category. The three Knights completed a detailed written report and a seven-minute online presentation for judges as part of the contest.

Bacon, Frahm and Rikli had to demonstrate the development and implementation of an innovative, creative and effective business partnership plan. The first part of the project involved setting up the business plan and documenting the entire process. The trio’s written report had to follow multiple formatting guidelines.

All three Knights had to actively participate in the online presentation for judges. They explained how and why they set up their project and what they had learned from their experience. They provided copies of the report and visual aids to judges.

A panel of judges followed a scoring rubric to create final marks for each team in the preliminary round. The top ten groups in the nation then advanced to the finals.

Judges felt Bacon, Frahm and Rikli were organized throughout their virtual performance. They also gave them top scores for displaying confidence during the presentation, showcasing the project’s effectiveness and talking about local involvement from chapter members.

Hogue, Lockman and Rieflin earned ninth place in the nation in the American Enterprise Project category. The three Knights had to promote awareness of the American enterprise system within the school and/or community.

The team members completed a detailed written report and a seven-minute online presentation for judges as part of the contest. All three Knights had to take part in the online presentation, and they were required to follow many guidelines concerning the size and scope of the multi-page report.

A panel of judges evaluated projects from across the nation in the preliminary round. They followed a comprehensive rubric to give each team an overall score. The top ten groups in the country then advanced to the finals.

Judges felt Hogue, Lockman and Rikli provided a clear outline of their project development and strategies. They also said the Knights demonstrated self-confidence and poise in their presentation, described their research methods with helpful details and created an effective and thoughtful written report.

All six Knights received national trophies for their work. They took one group picture the week of Aug. 9 and the second photo on Aug. 17.

In addition to the honor from national officials, Bacon, Frahm, Rikli, Hogue, Lockman and Rieflin will be recognized on the Elmwood-Murdock Wall of Fame. All students who finish in the top ten in the country in their FBLA events are eligible for the local award.

Pope also received notable recognition for his community service over the past four years. FBLA officials presented him with a Community Service Achievement Level Award at the national convention. This signified that he had completed more than 500 hours of community service during his high school career.

Arent and Pope took part in the Publication Design team event at the national convention. Ernst and Offner showcased their business knowledge in the Business Ethics competitive event.

The entire Elmwood-Murdock FBLA chapter also earned three prestigious national awards during the conference. The Knights captured an Outstanding Chapter Award for their extensive school and community work throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Elmwood-Murdock was one of just five Nebraska schools to receive the Outstanding Chapter Award. Chapters had to complete a minimum of 20 membership, community service and education activities to be eligible for the honor.

E-M was also one of just five Nebraska schools to pocket the FBLA Chapter Challenge Award. Students had to complete more than two dozen tasks on different subjects throughout the year. These included membership recruitment and retention, membership involvement in chapter activities and increasing FBLA awareness in the school and community.

Elmwood-Murdock was one of 14 Nebraska chapters to collect the Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit. Students had to participate in state and national events, speak with owners of local businesses and promote FBLA activities in the community to be considered for the award.

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