By Lloyd R. Bruner
The I.A. Lewis Middle School Future Business Leaders of America is the only sixth grade standalone school competing in the Middle Level in Louisiana. Despite having the youngest members in the state, they have competed well against the other ML schools with seventh and eighth graders competing. This year they continued their success at the Louisiana FBLA Northeast Regional Conference.
Competing at the conference with 13 determined members led by adviser Katelyn Levesque, IAL competed in 15 of the 16 events, earning recognition in 14 of them.
It began with testing at school proctored by advisers. Students then enjoyed the campus at Louisiana Tech at the in-person conference, taking in session, student booths, and much more. When the results were in, IAL took home eight Excellent ratings and nine Superior ratings that qualified for state.
Leading all ML competitors, IAL FBLA claimed a total of five Regional Championship Events. With two team titles available, the IAL Critical Thinking Team of Amyrie Jackson, Emily Guirt and Marirose Spillers captured one of Regional Championship titles.
Of the four individual titles, Shaniya Sewell was the Regional Champion in Digital Citizenship and Paisley Witt was the Regional Champion in Business Etiquette. Stepping up to really show his abilities, Shouab Asrafel took the Regional Championship in both events that he competed in: Exploring Computer Science and Learning Strategies.
IAL FBLA participated in the Ruston High School FBLA Leadership Retreat back in December 2021, which was their first opportunity to join up with other chapters at both the ML and high school level, but this was their first experience in competition and in conferences.
“I like how everything was very professional and everyone was kind and not disrespectful,” student Neeley Timm said. “The environment was also very kid friendly. I hope that the state conference will be just as amazing of an experience that regionals at Louisiana Tech was.”
Levesque said, “Our chapter had a wonderful experience at the Regional Leadership Conference. Even as middle level participants, there was a wide variety of events to compete in. We look forward to continue to compete at the upcoming State Leadership Conference.”
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