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3 W-DC students reach top 10 finish at BPA Nationals

14 students made the trip to nationals after qualifying at the state event.

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Grace Gallant, left, Ellie Hale an Haylee Dickey were top 10 finishers at the BPA National Conference in Texas in May.
Contributed photo
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WADENA — Fourteen Wadena-Deer Creek students attended the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas from May 4-8. Three of them hit the stage reaching the top 10 in the nation for the respective placings.

Grace Gallant and Ellie Hale were both national finalists in ICD-10 (medical coding), while Haylee Dickey was a national finalist in Legal Office Procedures. Dickey didn't originally qualify for the national event but after someone else dropped out, she was eligible. It was a good choice to attend.

Gallant shared about the impressive impact BPA has had on her as she attended her last national convention.

"My national event experience was pretty amazing," Gallant said. "As soon as I got to the conference I got excited and felt like I belonged. With COVID last year, none of our events were in person, so to be able to be with so many other kids involved in BPA was very cool."
Gallant had a series of technical issues that slowed her work with the Advanced Desktop Publishing. She was not expecting much, but managed an 11th place finish, just shy of making the podium in two events.
"Because of my earlier equipment difficulties, I really wasn’t expecting to do well, so seeing my name on the big screen as a finalist for ICD-10 was absolutely surreal," Gallant said.
She placed sixth in ICD-10 (medical coding). This involves going through an encyclopedia of medical conditions to arrive at a proper coding for something like an infection. It's complicated stuff that was made easier thanks to the mother of WDC BPA advisor Shayne Haustveit. Donna does medical coding for a living so helped in a big way. Gallant was thankful to her instructor and his mother for helping the team do things they never imagined doing.
"Since starting BPA, my goal was always to make the stage at nationals, so to be able to cap off my BPA career like that was crazy and a moment I’ll never forget," Gallant added.
The team's coach was pleased with the accomplishments that came from months of hard work.
"Great results to a year of hard work!" exclaimed Haustveit.

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The national qualifiers from Wadena-Deer Creek BPA team traveled to Texas from May 4-8 for the national conference. While there, they made a stop at an amusement park.
Contributed photo

Also attending the conference were: Mikayla Varela, Hannah Plautz, Katrina Moench, Nate Heppner, Blade Ehrmantraut, Ean Nemeth, Adam Plautz, KatieRae Fiemeyer, Jadyn Larson, Jenny Varela and Megan Hamelau.


These students all qualified for the national competition back in March 2022. WDC had two state champions and 20 national qualifiers in 2021.

After two days of testing, the group made time for a fun day at the Six Flags Amusement Park.

The National Leadership Conference (NLC) is culmination of work and accomplishment through the year. It brings together a diverse group of the best and brightest from across the country to compete in demonstrations of their business and technological acumen, develop their professional and leadership skills, network with professionals and each other from across the nation, and get involved with the betterment of their community through volunteer service projects.

Business Professionals of America is the nation’s leading CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business management, information technology, finance, accounting, office administration, and other business-related career fields.

With 45,000 members in over 1,800 chapters across 25 states and Puerto Rico, as well as an international presence in China, Haiti and Peru, BPA is an organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards.
If you’d like to learn more about W-DC BPA, visit their Facebook @wadenadeercreekbpa or Instagram @wdc_bpa .

He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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