BPA students place in top 10 at state competition – Wadena Pioneer Journal

WADENA — A successful Wadena-Deer Creek Business Professionals of America team boasts 12 students who qualified for nationals.

The team of about 25 competed at state on March 10-12 in Minneapolis. The students placed within the top 10 in their events with topics from finance to law, digital design, healthcare and computer programming. Many students competed in-person for their first state competition after competing virtually due to the pandemic.

“I’m really proud of everybody and the efforts that they put forth,” said senior Grace Gallant, BPA president. “It’s really cool to watch how we’ve grown from a team of like seven people to this, we took like 25, and it was amazing. It’s so cool how much we’ve grown and how much we’ll continue to grow.”

Two students also earned the state champion title in their events, including Gallant in the advanced desktop publishing event and Blade Ehrmantraut in the Linux programming event. With two days of competitions, the pressure involved and fun times connecting with classmates, Gallant said by the time she got to the desktop publishing event she was more tired than nervous.

“I definitely didn’t think I would get on the podium at all for that one so winning that one was kind of surreal,” Gallant said. “We really swept in that event, and I know those girls have been working really hard. It’s really not an easy event. Adobe isn’t super easy to catch onto, so I was really happy for them.”

KatieRae Fiemeyer placed second and Jadyn Larson placed fifth in the event. Students have 90 minutes to digitally design five different items with a cohesive theme. At the state competition, they designed two bags, two Instagram posts and a sandwich board.

With the variety of events, Gallant enjoys seeing her fellow teammates “shine.” She is looking forward to a spot on the national podium, enjoying time with friends and learning from speakers at the national competition. The national competition is May 4-8 in Dallas, Texas.

“I think the atmosphere down there is going to be awesome with all these people who are really good at what they do, and just meeting the people that are like me, that do my event,” Gallant said.

The state results include:

Students listed in bold are national qualifiers.

Advanced Desktop Publishing

  • State Champion: Grace Gallant
  • 2nd Place: KatieRae Fiemeyer
  • 5th Place: Jadyn Larson

ICD-10 Diagnostic Coding

  • 3rd: Grace Gallant
  • 4th: Jenny Varela
  • 5th: Ellie Hale

Medical Administration

  • 4th: Ellie Hale
  • 9th: Kelanie Oldakowski


  • 4th: Mikayla Varela
  • 6th: Nate Heppner
  • 7th: Dakota Olson
  • 8th: Hannah Plautz

Fundamental Spreadsheet

Fundamentals of Web Design

  • 2nd: Adam Plautz
  • 7th: Ean Nemeth
  • 8th: Tayton Lehman

Fundamental Word Processing

Python Programming

Linux Programming

  • State Champion: Blade Ehrmantraut

Computer Security

Legal Office Procedures

Business Law/Ethics

  • 4th: Mikayla Varela
  • 7th: Anna Guo


Podcast Production Team

  • 9th: Bjorn Brunsberg and Maddy Gallant

Banking and Finance

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