By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Several Marlborough students were among the 6,000 attending the National Conference of Business Professionals of America (BPA) held May 5-9 in Boston. They participated in the opening ceremony at the Hynes Auditorium, competitive events, a concert and fireworks at Fenway Park, and the award ceremony. Accompanying the group were Marlborough High School Chapter Advisor Jayne Haley and Sharon Mattingly.
The BPA was started at Marlborough High in 1974 by Donald Landers, Business Department head at that time. He was advisor for five years and has maintained an active interest in BPA activities through the years. He attended the convention, along with other local advisors –Joan Ledoux, advisor for 12 years; Mary Egan, 8 years; and Judy Ludgate, 15 years.
“BPA has provided a firm foundation for many local students for many years,” said Landers, who has kept in close communication with the state Department of Education since its inception. “It was originally called Office Education Association and was changed to BPA in 1989. It provides many skills, job interview techniques, parliamentary procedure, gives students confidence and prepares them for the business world and life in general.”
Ledoux, a former teacher, noted that the former advisors are not actively participating in BPA but keep in touch with Judith McKinstry, BPA Massachusetts state director.
“We went to the conference to see how it has changed from when we were advisors some 40 years ago,” she said. “It is definitely state-of-the-art, having had a production company for the past several years streamlining the event. Competitive events have definitely changed as well.”
BPA is the leading career and technical student organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. BPA has 43,000 members in over 2,300 chapters in 23 states. The mission of BPA is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic and technological skills. Students compete in various business-related areas at the state level as well as national.