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Stark High School JA teams take first and third in national competition

Jackson and Hoover High School JA Teams Shine in National Spotlight

FlameGuard team with first place trophies
FlameGuard team with first place trophies

Image caption: Jackson High School's JA Company, FlameGuard, won first place at JA NSLS, held in Washington D.C. Company officers are (L to R) Matt Smith, Zach Ferguson, Justin Lackey, Joe Lattarulo and Jack Lancy.

Jackson High School's Junior Achievement company, FlameGuard, won first place in the organization's Company of the Year competition at the JA National Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

The motivating force behind the company, which sold fire safety kits, was the blaze that claimed the lives of Jeffrey Hawk, Talina Hawk and their children, Ameila, 14, and Javen, 12, in March 2023.

Mission Monarch team at JA NSLS

Image caption: Mission Monarch (Hoover High School): (L to R) Teacher Nicole Snider, Carter Black, Grady Miller, Tess Bucher, Mitchell Gregory and Jack Shaffer.

Hoover High School's Mission Monarch takes third place nationally

A company from North Canton Hoover High School, Mission Monarch, took third place in the same national Junior Achievement competition.

"Mission Monarch created a milkweed seed bomb that helps increase the population of the monarch butterfly," Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio spokeswoman Caroline B. Silverman wrote in an email. "Milkweed is a crucial food source for the Monarch butterflies."

This was the first time that two out of the top three winners in the national contest were from Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, "demonstrating the exceptional talent and dedication of our students," Silverman wrote.

FlameGuard's success marks an "impressive milestone" for the school and community, district spokesman Todd Porter said in a prepared statement.

FlameGuard sold 355 items with net sales of $16,217.

Mission Monarch sold 620 items and had total revenue of $8,996. In addition to making a net profit of $4,483, its community impact included 1,647 seed bombs, 6,588 plants and 32,940 butterflies, Silverman wrote.

National competition drew 15 top companies

The JA National Student Leadership Summit brought together the top 15 Junior Achievement teams from across the country, and challenged them through a series of business competitions.

"FlameGuard excelled in multiple categories, including annual report, commercial production, private interviews, trade show presentation and a live presentation," Porter said.

'Noteworthy' achievement for Jackson

"Competing against several outstanding JA businesses, some of which held patents, FlameGuard emerged as the top team," he said. "This was Jackson High School's first time participating in the (summit), making this achievement even more noteworthy."

Students who represented FlameGuard at the leadership summit were Justin Lackey, chief executive officer; Joe Lattarulo, chief of operations; Zachary Ferguson, chief financial officer; Matt Smith, chief marketing officer; and Jack Lancy, director of sales.

Other members of the class that created and ran the company are Josh Walter, supply chain director; Jayden Wooten, sales and marketing; and Ben Sanders, sales.

Motto: Protect What Matters Most

The team was guided by Jackson High School business education teacher Shawn Donaldson. Mentors for the class were Robert Garner and Katie Tolin, who are business owners, volunteers and board members of Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio. Township Fire Chief Timothy G. Berczik and fire inspector Denny Tan helped FlameGuard select the items to sell.

The firm with the slogan "Protect What Matters Most" sold two fire safety kits. The one-story kit had a fire extinguisher, fire blanket, smoke alarms, burn gel, fire gloves and a respirator mask. The two-story kit included everything from the one-story kit plus a 13-foot fire escape ladder suitable for average two-story houses.

Mission Monarch was guided by Hoover teacher Nicole Snider. Members of the company were Carter Black, human resources; Grady Miller, chief executive officer; Tess Bucher, chief marketing officer; Mitchell Gregory, vice president of sales; Jack Shaffer, production; and Alex Boske.

Mentor: 'It's so inspiring to see what these kids can do.'

Tolin, who has been involved with Junior Achievement since she ran a company for two years in high school, told The Repository in January that she finds excitement and motivation among Junior Achievement participants.

"Who starts a company in three months? It's amazing," she said. "They come up with great ideas. They come up with their own logo designs. It's so inspiring to see what these kids can do."

Junior Achievement company programs at Hoover and Jackson are integrated into the curriculum as classes that meet during the school day.

Source: Nancy Molnar, Canton Repository (June 13, 2024)

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