Ooltewah High School Future Business Leaders of America students competed with thousands of students from across the state during the FBLA State Conference in Chattanooga, where winners won the right to compete at the National Conference.
"Ooltewah High School has been recognized nationally for FBLA," said Pat Coggin, the FBLA advisor who received the Mission Lift Award for raising the most money, $13,000, in Tennessee for the March of Dimes in 2010. "We've come in third for the amount of funds raised for the March of Dimes - $40,000 in the last three years. We've also had first-place winners at the national conferences."
During the FBLA State Conference held in Chattanooga, Coggin had 42 students competing with around 2,200 of their peers from Tennessee in more than 60 events. Twenty-nine of Ooltewah High School's students placed between first and fifth at the state level. The school's FBLA program as a whole was also recognized. Ooltewah High's FBLA was awarded a Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit, second place for the Ronald McDonald House can tab project and third place for largest chapter membership with 154 members.
The first-, second- and third-place winners in most of the categories will advance to the FBLA National Conference in Orlando this June. Out of the 8,000 participants at the national conference, winners will receive cash awards or scholarships for their projects.
Coggin said she thinks one project in particular will do well at the conference in June. One of the students' Go Green projects allowed high school students to teach kindergarten through fifth-graders at Ooltewah Elementary about recycling and green initiatives.
"My students are learning wonderful networking and presentation skills," said Coggin, who recently heard from a past student and FBLA state officer who graduated from Harvard.