Chapter 74 Students Qualify for Business Competition Nationals



We are excited to share the news that four students from Lower Pioneer Vocational have qualified for competition at the National Business Professionals of America National Competition in Anaheim.

Congratulations to the students and faculty advisor! Best wishes from MAVA.


Lower Pioneer Valley Career Technical Education Center students qualify for Business Competition Nationals

By Miasha Lee | Special to The Westfield News Published: Apr. 04, 2023

Lillith Randall of Southwick, left, and Ashley Miller of Ludlow show off their awards from the Business Professionals of America state competition in March.

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Local vocational students showed their business acumen last month as teams from the Lower Pioneer Valley Career Technical Education Center competed in the Business Professionals of America Massachusetts State Leader Conference in Norwood.

Graphics and visual design senior Lilith Randall, from Southwick, took fourth place in Fundamentals of Desktop Publishing and sixth place in Graphic Design and Promotion.

“Last year was during COVID, so it was very hard to meet other people and have contact,” she said. “This year, we were able to walk around and talk to people from several different parts of promotional and business jobs [and] careers.”

The State Leader Conference is Business Professionals of America’s showcase program, where students get to present their career skills.

Graphics and visual design instructor Cherie Thebeau-Lorange was introduced to BPA by a colleague from CTEC and has been a BPA advisor for seven years.

“This gives them a chance to test their skills against the rest of the state,” Thebeau-Lorange said. “Our organization here at CTEC is much smaller than some of the other schools, and only taking eight students with us, I thought we did a great job. I’m very proud of these guys.” She continued, “I hope it makes them comfortable further on in life to try things that are challenging for them and know they can be successful at it.”

Information systems support and networking instructor Dennis Tremblay also served as an advisor for the CTEC team.

He said for the information technology competitions, competitors are gathered in groups of four. Those students then have to build a network, set up all the equipment and design it. At the event, a group of judges look at their presentation, the technical piece and how the students present it.

Tremblay said, “I tell my students all the time that part of their job is to understand how technology works, but they also have to be able to explain technology to people without using jargon when they’re out in the field.” He continued, “Programs like BPA give students the opportunity to practice skills like public speaking, social interaction, and critical thinking. Those skills have a huge impact and boost their confidence for everything else that they’re going to do moving forward.”

Aiden DeForge, a sophomore from Agawam, was one of Tremblay’s students who competed, winning third place in Linux operating system fundamentals.

“I was pretty excited,” said DeForge. “I was nervous on the ride there, but when we got to the conference I was fine. The whole competition was awesome. You get to meet tons of people, make a lot of friends and overall, it was a great experience.”

Ashley Miller, a junior from Ludlow and a member of the school’s graphics and visual design program, took first place honors in the Fundamentals of Desktop Publishing competition. West Springfield senior Boston Williams, a graphics and visual design student, placed fifth in both Administrative Support Concepts and Financial Math and Analysis Concepts.

DeForge, Miller, Randall, and Williams, by placing fifth or above in a competition, have been invited to attend the BPA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California, on April 26-30 to compete in national events.

The faculty advisors said regardless of how well CTEC’s students do in Anaheim, they are proud of their work at BPA, and excited to see them have the experience of competing on the national stage. They said they want to expand the membership in the BPA chapter at CTEC and see this year’s competitors as ambassadors for the program.

Other CTEC students who participated in the March competition were Joseph Braga and Anna Bunnell of West Springfield, Kaiden Dion of Easthampton, and Chanel Nugent-Dunson of East Longmeadow.

CTEC is a vocational school on Brush Hill Road in West Springfield that partners with Southwick Regional School and several other high schools in Greater Springfield. Students spend half their day at CTEC and half at their home high school. Other participating school districts are Agawam, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Hampden-Wilbraham, Longmeadow, Ludlow, South Hadley, and West Springfield. Vocational shops at CTEC also include automotive, culinary, landscaping, carpentry, graphics and visual design, IT, health assisting, cosmetology, machine technology, building and property management, and early education and care.

David J. Ferreira

MAVA Communications Coordinator