Twenty-six students from the Klamath County School District will travel to San Antonio to attend and compete at the Future Business Leaders of America’s National Leadership Conference at the end of June.

The students, who range from freshmen to seniors, represent one of the largest qualifying groups in the high schools’ recent history to attend the national event.

The students will be in San Antonio, Texas, June 27 to July 3.

Students from Mazama, Lost River, Bonanza and Gilchrist high schools competed in the FBLA state competition April 3 to 6 in Portland. The top four in each division will proceed to nationals.  

The students going to nationals reflect years of experience in FBLA clubs across several different grade levels and high schools. One such student, Mazama sophomore Nathan Hantzmon, felt an urge to challenge himself. Hantzmon will compete in Management Decision Making on a team with fellow sophomore Kristalyn Hayes.

During the school year, students take part in regional and state-level competitions where each student selects a specific category to be tested in. Students may need to pass a written exam before advancing to a hands-on competition, where they make a presentation pitch on a specific topic relating to business, technology and career skills.

A packed field

The nationals-bound students will be joining 15,000 others from across the country. In each competition, they will face-off against hundreds of other students. Competitors who place in the top ten may qualify to make formal, in-person presentations to several judges on stage for the chance to earn a national ranking and title.

For senior Brazil Cisneros, who has previously been to nationals three times, but has not placed in the top ten, this year’s trip represents an opportunity for her to “really go for it,” she said. She hopes to make it to the stage for the opportunity to place amongst the top ten in the nation. Mazama senior Gordon McCreadie expressed similar thoughts about his final competition as a high school student.

Lost River Junior Senior High School, for the second year in a row has a state officer. Michelle Ruedas, a freshman, was elected Cascade Region vice-president. “I am super proud of her for taking this challenging step in her high school career,” said Ivan Hernandez, Lost River business teacher and FBLA advisor. “This will challenge her boundaries and inspire other members to come out of their comfort zones.”

Lost River’s Alicia Venegas, who took first place in career exploration and business etiquette, was the first FBLA member since the chapter began competing at mid-level to win first places at state, Hernandez said.

Bonding opportunity

The competition also represents an opportunity for the FBLA members to meet other students across the nation, as well as bond with one another.

Mazama junior Gabe Moran said he’s looking forward to getting to know his classmates better on the trip by spending time with them outside of school. Senior Gordon McCreadie said he is looking forward to having the opportunity to represent Mazama High School on a national platform.

Students have been fundraising for the trip by asking for donations from business owners, managing their student stores and by selling navel oranges.

FBLA is a national organization designed to teach students business practices, college and career preparation techniques, business communication, and networking skills. The organization offers middle school, high school and college-level opportunities.


FBLA STATE RESULTS: Mazama, Lost River, Bonanza and Gilchrist

Mazama High School

Place Event First Name Last Name
1 Word Processing Tyler Sorenson
2 Chapter Website
2 Coding and Programming Johnathan Havener
2 Impromptu Speaking Gabe Moran
2 Publication Design Brazil Cisneros
Gordon McCreadie
Jake Healy
3 Business Ethics Nora Rooney
Julia Flocchini
3 Chapter Newsletter
3 Client Service Madi Baeth
3 Hospitality Management Nick Ambrose
3 Management Decision Making Nathan Hantzmon
Kristalyn Hayes
4 Introduction to Business Presentation Priscilla Zendejas
Elise Balakas
5 Sales Presentation Cadence Balsz
6 Digital Scrapbook
6 Local Chapter Annual Business Report
6 Sales Presentation Cody Cahill
7 Introduction to FBLA Nathan Hantzmon
7 Spreadsheet Applications Jackson Boulter
9 Chapter Scrapbook
9 Graphic Design Daniela Garcia
Geralline Sapp
9 Health Care Administration Madi Baeth
9 Word Processing Sander Allison 
10 Business Calculations Julianna Budnick
10 Introduction to Business Presentation Landon Baeth
Madalyn Holmes
Jack Hunt
10 Marketing Brandon Gailey
Jacob Stacey
Ben Whalen


Gilchrist High School

Place Event First Name Last Name
2 Job Interview Kerri McMahan
5 Business Plan Katie Madison McDaniel Mefford
10 Social Media Campaign Michael Clapp


Lost River High School

Place Event First Name Last Name
1 Introduction to FBLA Benjamin Hernandez
3 Publication Design Ximena Lemus
Angela Taylor
Ashleigh Taylor
3 Social Media Campaign Irene Aguirre
Nicole Lopez
4 Introduction to Business Procedures Luis Romero
4 Introduction to Parliamentary Aurora Cerri
5 Social Media Campaign Yajaira Cobian
Makenzie Girtman
Aurora Cerri
6 Introduction to Business Presentation Hector Briseno
Geovanni Cazarez
Yoselin Salazar
6 Introduction to Business Procedures Michelle Ruedas
6 Introduction to Parliamentary Dalia Barajas
6 Public Service Announcement Bianca Aguirre
Dalia Barajas
Luis Romero
6 Website Design Giselle Cobian
Isabel Venegas
7 Introduction to Parliamentary Daniel Zacarias
7 Social Media Campaign Benjamin Hernandez
Israel Ruedas
Michelle Ruedas
8 Website Design Yulisa Alonzo
Suzy Cobian
Giovanni Rizo
9 Insurance and Risk Management Yanet Cobian
9 Securities and Investments Ashleigh Taylor
10 Introduction to FBLA Geovanni Cazarez


Bonanza High School

Place Event First Name Last Name
3 Graphic Design Cassidy Byrne 
Charlize Byrne
4 Sales Presentation Chris Eck 
6 Marketing Megan Southard


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