Niles students go to nationals

Published 12:23 am Friday, May 6, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Among the ranks of outstanding students in the Niles Community Schools, two students have shown themselves to be of national caliber.
Claire Blanchard, daughter of Michael and Linda Blanchard, and Geoffery Antos, son of Joseph and Cynthia Antos, placed right at the top of the competition the 2005 National Leadership Conference of Business Professionals of America in Annaheim, Calif., April 22-26.
Out of 69 finalists, Claire received a first place in Medical Office Procedures. Geoffery placed second in Administrative Support Concepts which was an open event allowing a large number of competitors. He also received a third place award in C++ Programming out of a field of 57 contestants.
To even reach the state competition, the students had to be one of the seven finalists at regionals, competing against 700 other students in the western portion of Michigan. Then they had to compete against 2,500 other students at the state level and finish in the top four.
Taking first, second, and third place awards at the national level is quite an accomplishment, according to Michele Clement, the co-advisor to the BPA at Niles High School, along with fellow teacher Susan Miller.
According to Clement, Claire and Geoffery are part of a co-curriculum club which allows them time to study their field of interest outside the classroom. Claire works with the Professional Health Academy Class at Lakeland Hospital in Niles and Geoffery studies at the Math and Science Center at Andrews University in Berrien Springs. The curriculum they follow lines up directly to the classes they are taking at the high school.