Twenty West Middle School students will represent Tullahoma at nationals after strong outings at the Tennessee Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference earlier this month.
Middle school-level competitors needed to place in the top two of their respective events to advance past state. The performances by these Bobcats came just after 10 Tullahoma High School students had qualified for nationals. Tullahoma will now be represented by 30 students when the FBLA National Leadership Conference takes place in Atlanta from June 27-30.
This marks the second-consecutive year that West Middle School is sending students to nationals after 15 Bobcats represented Tullahoma last year. West saw five of those qualifiers place at the 2022 FBLA National Leadership Conference.
“After the success of last year, our membership almost doubled,” said WMS Adviser Franklin Cammack. “We have a ton of youth in this group, with only seven returning members from last year. They rallied and worked hard to show that West is still a chapter to be reckoned with. Nationals in Atlanta will always be special to me as it is where I had my first National winner of my career. I fully expect to see some of our kids up on that stage come June 30. I’ve had a few students who want copies of their judge’s sheets from this recent competition so they can improve before nationals. They certainly have the will and drive, and I can’t wait to see what happens.”
West Middle School had 23 students compete in 16 events at the state conference, and eight of those competitors finished as state champions in their events. Jonah Rathjen Vallejos placed first in the Annual Chapter Activities Presentation, while Rileigh Johnson and Keila Diaz teamed to take the top spot in Business Ethics. Samantha Johnson added a first-place effort in Career Research, while Emma Wilson finished first in Elevator Speech. Brayton Arant followed by taking the top spot in Exploring Computer Science, while Elijah Montero placed first in FBLA Concepts and Jessica Jones finished first in the FBLA Mission and Pledge.
Twelve students added second-place efforts during the state competition. Sadie Massingille took second place in Career Exploration. William Dawe, Wesley Hanson and Griffin Moyers teamed to take second in Critical Thinking. Simera Shiferaw, Kaden Peterson and Anna Milhahn combined to finish second in Exploring Business Issues. Edward Henry added a second-place effort in Financial Literacy. Beau McNatt, Payton Behrendorff and Joshua Seagroves teamed to place second in Multimedia and Website Development. Hayden Good took second place in Running an Effective Meeting.
“Under the leadership of Franklin Cammack, our West Middle School FBLA program has seen continual growth in both number of students participating and state and national winners,” said WMS Principal Cindy Herrera. “To have 23 students compete at state and 20 place to move onto the national competition is an incredible accomplishment. The experiences of competing at state and national competitions make for amazing life-changing experiences. Having WMS represent Tullahoma on a national level demonstrates the great things that are happening inside our classrooms. All of our WMS staff members, students and families are very proud of these students, and WMS is extremely grateful for the support of all in the district and community.”