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FBLA group shot from Atlantic City

Nina Haye and Emma Italiano (right) from High School South took home first place for their business plan, but more than 30 future business leaders from Toms River Regional Schools-- along with their trusted advisors-- traveled to Atlantic City last week for the FBLA State Leadership Conference.

Emma Italiano and Nina Haye at FBLA

Four students qualify for nationals

March 15, 2024-- Students from High School South, North, and East attended the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference in Atlantic City March 11 through 13, where they competed in a variety of topics ranging from business and financial planning, to coding and programming. Many students attending walked away with networking experience, meeting FBLA members all across the state, presentation and business experience, and lessons that will carry them on further in life.

National Qualifiers

But beyond those life experiences, many students earned medals and trophies representing their hard work and accomplishments. These students included South's Emma Italiano and Nina Haye, who competed in the Business Plan category where they presented "Beyond the Bookcase." The 17-page business plan, which incorporated industry standards for everything from an industry analysis to five years of projected financial information, proposed a used-book and donation company, a project that earned them a first-place trophy and reserved a slot for them at the upcoming National Leadership Conference in Orlando.

Also obtaining a slot in the National Leadership Conference, as well as a second-place trophy, were HSS's Josh and Grace Rhine. In the Website Design category, their "Rhine Designs" company proposed a website for the local non-profit Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey, which used industry-standard technology to collect donations, enable event sign ups, and promote volunteer opportunities and local events.

Grace and Joshua Rhine show off their second place trophies

Grace and Joshua Rhine show off their second-place trophies at the FBLA Conference.

Toms River Regional Schools' Top 10 FBLA Medalists

High School South

  • Ava Gray and Melanie Jobson - Graphic Design
  • Samantha DiNicola, Genevieve Godino, and Elle Lotano - Intro to Social Media Strategies
  • Riddhi Jariwala and Siddhi Jariwala - Digital Animation

High School North

  • Shaahan Gurm - Impromptu Speaking
  • Ryan Sabino - Insurance and Risk Management

Other District Competitors

High School South

  • Giana DeNino and Jordyn Lynch - Graphic Design
  • Samantha Hughes - Intro to Social Media Strategies
  • Dylin Martin - Intro to Business Presentations
  • Shane Hughes and Jacob Spinelli - Visual Designs
  • Sophia Citta, Madelyn Raimann, and Sophia Wiercinski - Social Media Strategies
  • Christopher Park - Job Interview
  • Amelia Holloway - Job Interview

High School East

  • Katie Ditzel and Danielle Raimato - Graphic Design
  • Anastasios Psillos - Accounting II
  • Mark Koba - Supply Chain Management
  • Michael Thoms and Chris Nolan- Business Plan

High School North

  • Matthew Butch, Brady Cicala, and Joshua Girtain - Broadcast Journalism
  • Joanne Chen and Safia Islam - Social Media Strategies
  • Steven Dong - Website Design
  • Lana Hayes and Angela Pontipiedra - Public Service Announcement
  • Gabriela Kostova - Graphic Design
  • Joseph Leyza - UX Design
High School North crew at FBLA in AC

The Mariner contingent at the FBLA Conference

Speaking of High School North (above), they were presented with a Certificate of Recognition at the national level, specifically a "Gold Seal Chapter Award of Merit" for New Jersey. This award recognizes outstanding local chapters within the state that have actively participated in projects and programs identified with the goals of FBLA. They also earned a certificate for "Community Service Challenge - 5th Place," awarding them for their amazing work and dedication of community service hours as a chapter.

HSN FBLA Adviser Jamie Tesoro expressed pride in her students' hard work and accomplishments, and thanked Supervisor Tiffany Lucey and Dana Oleksy, who served as a timekeeper, chaperone and judge during the conference, for their generous support of FBLA students on behalf of the district.

"I must recognize the hard work that went into his chapter's success this year as well," said HSS FBLA Advisor Robert Gold, "from countless hours after school preparing speeches and presentations, to two long pre-competition days where students practiced their presentations for staff."

Gold also thanked chaperones Michele Martini and Charlene Wallace for a smooth and successful trip of 24 students to Atlantic City, and HSS Assistant Principal Christopher Peck for attending the awards ceremony to cheer our students on.

HSE FBLA Advisor Janine Hatton expressed tremendous pride in her first-time FBLA members stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

"I am so grateful for all of their hard work and dedication preparing and studying," Hatton said, "and I thank Principal Erin Anders for her unwavering support of the students and clubs at High School East."

Additional photos from the conference are below.

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