PERU — It’s an underdog victory with a business plan.
Four Peru High School students — members of the Future Business Leaders of America — showed their skills at the state finals.
Now, they will all be headed to Tennessee to take part in the national competition.
“This is a big, big win,” said Karen Rock, Peru High School business teacher and adviser to the winning group. “To qualify for nationals is almost unheard of for our area.
“They beat out some very big schools.”
What’s more, the program is a new one at Peru.
“This is our first year,” Rock said, “and we made it to states and nationals.”
The students have already won scholarship money through their state victory and their participation in the Future Business Leaders of America, and they have the chance to win more at the nationals.
Michael Mills, a junior, qualified for the nationals in the Spreadsheet Event.
Using Microsoft Excel, he took a 100-question test about how to use the program. And he also had to put his skills to work, designing a spreadsheet on the spot based on data that he was given.
"They asked me to make a spreadsheet for a teacher to calculate grades," Michael said.
He is pleased that he decided to test his skills on the statewide level.
"It was pretty enjoyable."
Juniors Megan Sears, Devin Wood and Cory Rock Jr., who is Karen Rock’s son, competed in the Management Decision Making contest at the state level. Likewise, they faced a 100-question test, but one that drew on their knowledge of marketing, economics and finance.
Then they were given a business challenge and allowed 20 minutes to come up with a solution, which they had to present to a group of judges.
Rock described the group as "dynamic kids who had to work together and be quick and sharp.”