High School Students Score Big at Business Competition

Students from Carmel High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) student-organization showcased a variety of skills and competencies to earn top honors at the 2021 New York FBLA State Leadership Conference. This year’s student competition was held virtually and hosted nearly 700 students representing more than 60 schools in the State.

CHS FBLA Competition Winners

Carmel High School students competed in nine different events during the state-level competition, and earned placements in five:

  • Account II (Written Test): Abigail Taormina (3rd place)
  • Business Communication (Test): Ava Florez (5th place)
  • Client Service Performance: Jaclyn Repanti (5th place)
  • Impromptu Speaking Performance: Abigail Taormina (2nd place)
  • Parliamentary Procedure – Team Performance: Jack Autieri, Jack Curtis, Jaclyn Repanti, Anthony Vara and Tayte Wong (4th place)

“I am so proud of the FBLA students for stepping up during this difficult year, and going above and beyond,” said Mary Odell, Career and Technical Education Department chair and FBLA student organization adviser. “There were so many changes to competitions this year and they still wanted to compete despite the challenge of new virtual competition rules. They had to think outside the box, and I am proud of them for stepping up and taking the challenge."

Senior Abigail Taormina’s two state-level wins this year were bittersweet for her, after competing with FBLA for Carmel High School the last two years. For her Top 3 placements, Taormina qualifies for competition at the National Leadership Conference later this year.

“When I first started prepping for competition my junior year, I had very little knowledge about public speaking,” said Taormina. “But, I stayed after school with Mrs. Odell for about an hour almost every day to practice for almost two months. I'll be honest, it was very difficult sometimes, especially when I was not as successful at first, but practice makes perfect!”

CHS FBLA Parlimentary Process Team Winners

 Taormina, who serves as the FBLA president for the high school and is planning to study business in college, notes how grateful she is for all the opportunities that the club has provided her since her freshman year.

“I truly could not have accomplished any of this if it weren't for Mrs. Odell,” said Taormina. “Her dedication and willingness to work with me for hours on end has transformed me into a confident public speaker and leader. It felt great that all of our hard work had paid off.”

Earlier this year, the FBLA students took part in the Spring District Competitions as a prelude to the state competitions. The team entered seven events during the district competition and placed in the Top 3 in all. Students had to place in the Top 3 during district competition in order to move on to the state competition.

District-level Competition Placements:

  • Client Service Performance: Jaclyn Repanti (2nd place)
  • Impromptu Speaking Performance: Abby Taormina (1st place)
  • Introduction to Decision Making Performance: Ava Florez (1st place)
  • Introduction to Public Speaking Performance: Bezaida Cajas (3rd place)
  • Job Interview Performance: Spencer Dicembrino (2nd place)
  • Public Speaking Performance: Anna Zimmerman (2nd place)
  • Parliamentary Procedure Team (Exam): Placed in the Top 5 in New York State and then had to compete again in the performance part.