Pickerington High School North students earn honors at national conference

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group
Pickerington High School North seniors Garrett Cox (left), Logan Nowlin, Colin Decker and Tyler Brunelle were part of a web application team that won first place at the Business Professionals of America National Conference, held virtually April 26-May 9.

Five Pickerington High School North students recently earned honors in a national multimedia competition.  

Seniors Tyler Brunelle, Garrett Cox, Colin Decker and Logan Nowlin placed first in the web application category at the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference. 

Senior Isabelle Lynch placed third in the digital-media production category. 

Last spring, 14 students in Doug Rider's multimedia program who qualified for the conference were denied a chance to compete in Washington, D.C., because of COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. 

Pickerington High School North senior Isabelle Lynch placed third  in digital-media production during the Business Professionals of America National Conference, held virtually April 26-May 9.

This year, a traditional conference for students and teachers from throughout the country in Orlando, Florida, also was canceled; however, the competition was held virtually April 26-May 9. All activities were conducted through videoconferences and livestreams.  

This year, 17 students in Rider's two-year multimedia course, offered at North through Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools, qualified to take part in the BPA National Leadership Conference. It marked the 16th time in 18 years Rider has had students reach nationals and they did so after regional and state virtual competitions in categories ranging from website design and digital-media production to computer animation and fundamentals of web design.  

The team of Brunelle, Cox, Decker and Nowlin was named Best in Show for enabling a website to take online ride and restaurant reservations for an amusement park.  

"We chose the project because we felt that our combined strengths as a team would be suited for the variety of tasks that come with building a website," Cox said. "In a real-world application, users would be able to visit our site to read information about the amusement park and the attractions that it offers, as well as reserving their spot ahead of time for rides and restaurants." 

Lynch created a two-minute video about requirements for attending a college. 

Lynch said she chose the project because she loves multiple aspects of film, including brainstorming and video filming and editing.  

"There are thousands of colleges in America alone," she said. "Trying to find which one is the right fit for you is hard, and the hundreds of digital and physical pieces of mail we get don't make the decision easier." 

Lynch said her short video was designed to give prospective students a more efficient way of researching college admission requirements. 

"I know during my college search, I'd have 10 tabs open to find all the information I needed for one school that I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to go to," she said. "Having a one- to two-minute video about each college would be a huge time-saver." 

Other students who qualified to compete in the national competition were:  

• A website design team of North seniors Bella Floyd, Ellie Rider, Nathan Orhman and Ani Watts. 

• A presentation management team of North junior Nathan Jones and LIberty Union High School junior Mary Chesnut. 

• A computer animation team of North juniors Enrique Ayala and Laken Dreher, as well as Groveport Madison High School junior Jamia Saunders. 

• A virtual multimedia and promotion team of North seniors Tommy Bozzelli, Teddi Heberle and Daniel VanWormer.

• Cox and Decker also competed in fundamentals of web design. 

Rider said he was pleased with his students' work, particularly how they handled virtual competitions.  

He noted the virtual format doesn't allow students to improve their projects and presentations as they move through the various levels of competition.  

"In contrast, these competitions are submitted once and if they are deemed worthy, students get a chance to present their product via videoconference," Rider said. "Following this presentation, the top 10 entries are invited to nationals.  

“Competing virtually adds another dimension of technology for students to overcome. Communication is strained and instructions must be followed very carefully." 

Rider said Lynch was his first student to compete nationally in digital-media production.  

"She's the type of student who is always helping out, volunteering to help with video projects," he said. "Obviously, it paid off for her."  

Rider said the web application team stood out in a highly contested category because its website looked professional, was easily navigated and loaded fast, while also featuring important functionality.  

"This year's group was required to create a website for an amusement park that would allow users to create a profile, log in, reserve a spot in line for attractions and manage their account," he said. "This team really came together and combined a wide variety of skills and created a site that looks beautiful and works very smoothly."    

nellis@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekNate