ASMSA student receives national recognition

5 years ago

Standing on the stage at the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference, Kevin Fialkowski of Heber Springs knew he had placed in the Top 10 in the Technology Concepts event.

That was surprising enough, said Fialkowski, who will be a senior at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts this fall. But as the announcer began reading names of the Top 10 finishers in reverse order, Fialkowski quickly became one of the few people on stage without a plaque or trophy.

“When I was standing on stage, it was already kind of a shock because ‘Oh, I’m in the Top 10,’” he said. “They started calling out 10th place, then ninth place, then eighth place, constantly more anticipation. Then they called out third place, and I thought ‘Whoa, I’m either first or second place.’ My mouth kind of opened.”

Fialkowski finished second place in the competition, “which is still really fantastic,” he said. He received the award June 30 during the FBLA Awards of Excellence at the national conference in Anaheim, Calif.

The Technology Concepts competition included an exam that tested Fialkowski’s technical knowledge, his ability to troubleshoot hardware and software issues, networking and telecommunication fundamentals. To qualify for the national competition, students must qualify by first competing in district and state competitions.

Fialkowski also achieved two Microsoft Office Specialist certifications during the conference. Through free Microsoft information technology certification examinations that were offered at the conference, Fialkowski earned Microsoft Office Specialist certification in PowerPoint 2010 and expert-level Specialist in Word 2010.

With the two new certifications, Fialkowski has earned nine information technology certifications while at ASMSA and Heber Springs High School. He credited the various certifications — along with classwork, books and study guides — in helping him build the knowledge base to help him succeed on the Technology Concepts exam.

This was the second year that Fialkowski competed in the national conference competition. He qualified for the business calculations competition at the national conference in San Antonio in 2012 while attending Heber Springs High. Fialkowski said he will compete in either the networking concepts or cybersecurity event this year.

Amanda Rabalais of Hot Springs, a 2013 ASMSA graduate, also participated in the national conference. She competed in the Business Law category. The competition tested students’ knowledge of specific legal areas that most commonly affect personal and business relationships.

FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda is a nonprofit association with more than 250,000 members and advisers. Its mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

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