Victoria Stalkfleet, a Lawrence High School senior, placed eighth in the nation at the recent Business Professionals of America conference in Nashville, Tenn., which drew more than 4,000 competitors.
As one of four LHS students to qualify for the convention, Victoria competed in the category of "office specialist." She had to demonstrate skill in drafting memos, sending electronic mail, making priorities and answering office procedure questions.
Three other seniors -- April Affalter, Joe Beaty and Brian LaFrenz -- also attended nationals, having placed in the top four at the Kansas BPA competition.
Kelly Meyeres, faculty sponsor of the BPA club, said that to participate, students had to complete three business or computer courses and find a job in an office setting. There were 15 members this year.
"By the time they graduate high school, they have a year's resume experience," she said.
Meyeres said she encouraged club members to work for a company that does what they're interested in academically so they could discover if the field was right for them.
Victoria plans to study education at Emporia State University and teach business in a high school some day. She has a year's experience as an office assistant in the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
"You get a year's training, and you're just out of high school," she said.