STFHS Class of 2015 members committed to seeing FBLA success continue

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The FCCLA organization at San Tan Foothills High School. Andrew Luberda | Ledger

Southeast Valley Ledger

San Tan Foothills’ Future Business Leaders of America, a Career Technical Student Organization at the school, has experienced unparalleled success over the last five years, ranking at or the near the top at State Leadership Conference competitions during that time.

While members from all grade levels have contributed to that success and want it to continue, it’s the seniors – Alyssia Pisel, Kenneth Vicencio, Roman Arbisi, and JoAnne DaCoco – who feel the greatest sense of obligation to continue increasing the organizations legacy.

“Not only have us but also past members worked really hard to build a name for San Tan’s FBLA chapter,” DaCoco said. “FBLA has done so much for us that we want to maintain its reputation.”

That “reputation” is well-known at competitions, where STFHS was finished at or the near the top, including back-to-back first place finished at the State Leadership Conference in 2013-2014. This year STFHS took home third and is sending 15 members to the 2015 National Leadership Conference later this summer in Chicago.

“We have to keep up our name and make sure everyone knows we are here to stay and here to compete every time,” DaCoco said.

FBLA advisor Joe Galish said the organization takes great pride in being the group on campus that is responsible for the school’s reputation for being among the best in the state and credits previous years’ members for helping build the foundation.

“They are handful of kids who were never afraid to (motivate) another student in the organization and hold them accountable,” Galish said. “There have been some strong leaders in the past who have helped establish this.

San Tan’s FBLA is so entrenched as one of the best in the state that they can intimidate other schools on arrival at competitions. It’s the academic equivalent of facing a dynasty in sports like the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s or the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s.

At the State Leadership Conference in Tucson earlier this year, STFHS finished in top five of 18 different competitions including first, second, or third in 11 of them. At the national event in Chicago, STFHS will represent Arizona in 10 different events.

“(Our) kids do really well against their peers,” Galish told theLedgerin April. “(Most) of the kids that come through our organization are either valedictorians or salutatorians and likely will go on to college.”

With another strong showing in Chicago, the STFHS FBLA organization may perhaps have created its own dynasty.

Andrew Luberda (313 Posts)

Andy Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for eight high schools. His stories are published in the Southeast Valley Ledger, Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College. Andy is currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Communication. Andy is scheduled to complete his degree December 2014. He was born and raised in Des Plaines, Ill. In 1992, he relocated to Arizona. After a short return to Des Plaines in 1997, he returned to the Phoenix area two years later. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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