Batavia High School students once again received national recognition for their commitment to community service. Although the national

Batavia BPA at the Polar Plunge

Maddie Coyle, Marissa Moore, Skylar Musselman, and Hannah Wiederhold raising money during the Polar Plunge

Batavia BPA members

Chapter members volunteering at the Queen Bee Half-Marathon

conference in Washington D.C. canceled due to COVID-19, the national Business Professionals of America (BPA) association held a virtual awards celebration on May 20th.

The 74 sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the 2019-2020 Batavia High School BPA chapter are enrolled in the Business Management satellite program offered through Great Oaks Career Campuses.

They worked together throughout the year to benefit their business management program, school, and community. As a result, the students earned the Quality Chapter Distinction as one of BPA’s most involved and active chapters.

The BPA Cares program recognizes chapters where a core value is “service.” Participation in the program means that members are engaging in worthwhile projects that support their community’s betterment. This year the chapter was recognized with the Community Service Award, Marketing and Public Relations Award, Social Media Award, and the Chapter of Excellence.

The Batavia Chapter also earned the Special Olympics Award. Special Olympics is the national service project of BPA. Over the past decade, the chapter has raised over $85,000 for Special Olympics through their participation in the annual Polar Plunge.

“At the beginning of the year, the officer team made a plan to participate in the BPA Cares program,” said their teacher and advisor Angie Kovacs. “These awards are a direct result of the students’ ability to work as a team. Every chapter member contributed.”

Batavia High School Principal Tim Derickson said, “Batavia is extremely fortunate to have such a great group of students to represent Batavia High School. I want to take the opportunity to recognize our staff and students for all their hard work and thank them for their dedication to the school and community.”

Batavia BPA members

Megan Wallace and Addison Thompson organizing games at the YMCA Fall Festival

Individual awards were also announced. Nine students earned national Ambassador Torch Awards, including seniors Brooke Caruso, Christian Decker, Miranda Holmes, Lily Holt, Bryan Sauter, Katelyn Steiner, Addison Thompson, and Megan Wallace. Junior Morgan Cravens also earned the award.

The U.S. Presidential Service Medal is awarded to individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action. Fifteen Batavia BPA chapter members were recognized. Sophomore Ryan Edmisten earned a gold medal for completing over 250 hours of community service during the school year. Zach Blevins, Brooke Caruso, Jordan Copenhaver, Morgan Cravens, Christian Decker, Nathan DeFrank, Kirsten Hall, Issac Hattar, Koren Moore-Runck, Mya Rhoden, Andrew Ruby, Bryan Sauter, Addison Thompson, and Megan Wallace earned bronze medals.

One of the most prestigious awards given by the national association is the Student of the Year Award. Cheers could be heard at homes in Batavia as senior Bryan Sauter was named the 2019-2020 National Secondary Student of the Year. The award recognizes one secondary student who has made significant contributions to Business Professionals of America as a member. BPA membership totals more than 45,000 secondary and post-secondary students.

BPA is a co-curricular student organization for high school students that includes activities and programs that complement classroom instruction. Through competitions, students get practical experience and the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom..

“As you can see, we are not just growing students to enter the world of business, but we are developing well-rounded students who understand what it means to give back to the school and community, said Ted Kirkpatrick, Dean of Satellites for Great Oaks Career Campuses.” Through the experiences gained throughout the program, they will undoubtedly be the leaders of tomorrow.”