WALLA WALLA -- Walla Walla High School students who are part of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter took home top prizes at a conference held in Richland on Monday.
About 200 students representing 12 schools competed in the Southeast Region Winter Leadership Conference, said team advisor Scott Reardon in a release. Wa-Hi students, represented by a team of 14, took 22 top-five places in events in a competition that included more than 40 events.
Students Mike Collison, Nathan Gallinat, Greg Heller, Nick Poolman, Melissa Santana, Cassidy Schoblom and Jocelyn Vargas earned first-place awards for individual events that included technology concepts, personal finance, economics, accounting, sports management and computer problem solving.
Gallinat, Santana, and Schoblom additionally received first-place awards for team efforts, along with Andy Maycumber and Nigel Melling.
Also competing and placing in the top five were Christina Canwell, Jazmin Llanes, Hannah Melling and Alexi Storm. Melanie Mottern rounded out the team.
"This event is the culmination of a lot of hard work put in by several dedicated young people," Reardon said. "Although our numbers are down as far as total participants, our overall performance might have been the best I have ever seen. I only wish more students could experience the thrill of placing in an FBLA event; there is truly a euphoric feeling during the awards presentation."
The students will next head to Spokane April 7-9 to compete in the State Leadership Conference.