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Westport means business

WESTPORT - A growing group of students at Westport Central School are showing they have the skills and know-how needed to succeed in business.

Westport Central School's Future Business Leaders of America club competed in the regional Spring District Meeting competition Feb. 3 in Greenwich, N.Y., and once again put on an impressive showing.

The students competed through the form of written tests and performances in a wide variety of business-related categories including finance, economics, job interview, impromptu speaking, and sports management.

Of nine students participating, eight placed among the top three for their respective events, earning the right to show off their skills at the New York State FBLA conference to be held April 21-23.

"This is our best showing overall," said club advisor Adam Facteau, a Business teacher at Westport. He noted how two newcomers to the club, Delaney Sears and Willa McKinley, took first place in their categories.

While many students often shy away from public speaking, Westport's FBLA participants master the skills to perform well in competition, and in the club's short history, they have experienced a great deal of success.

"I'd like to think that I have something to do with it," said Facteau. "We practice quite a bit."

"These students come to me very sharp on a lot of these skills, and we just kind of tweak them," he added. "I think the skill level that we have is based on a community approach."

Success at the regional level is nothing new for the group. Four of this year's qualifiers, Liam Davis, Nathan Gay, Kevin Russell and Alan Ware, were among seven Westport students who went on to compete at the state conference last year. Three of those students, including Ware, ended up qualifying for the national competition.

The idea of competing and succeeding at the state level may have seemed easier for the Westport club to grasp this year, but they know from experience that it's not an easy road. The club must raise its own funds for the trip, which can amount to about $500 per student.

Those wishing to offer support for the club can contact Facteau by calling Westport Central School at 962-8244 or sending an e-mail to facteaua@westportcs.org.

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