PRINCE FREDERICK, MD – Twelve high school students from Calvert County Public Schools, representing Northern High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), showcased remarkable talent at the 2023 National Leadership Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, a congregation of the nation’s brightest young minds in business and leadership, saw two Northern High School (NHS) FBLA members placing in the top ten in their respective competitive events.

Gentry Bowie, a member of NHS FBLA, achieved a commendable 9th place in the Introduction to Business Communication event. Steven Vilcheck, another NHS representative, secured an impressive 6th place in Business Law. Their achievements represent a significant accomplishment, given the scale and competitive nature of the conference.

Bowie expressed her exhilaration and pride in her achievement, noting the intimidating yet rewarding experience of competing against top-tier participants. Her sentiments were echoed by Vilcheck, highlighting the significance of hard work and dedication in reaching the national stage and succeeding.

: NHS FBLA’s 2023 national winners Gentry Bowie (left) and Steven Vilcheck (right).

The National Leadership Conference, spanning four days, brought together over 13,000 middle and high school FBLA members. The conference provided a platform for workshops, networking, and various event competitions. These ranged from objective tests in finance and sports management to presentations in public speaking.

Qualification for these events was no small feat. NHS FBLA members had to first compete and succeed at the 2023 Maryland Region IV Leadership Conference, which saw participation from several counties, including Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s, and Prince George’s.

The following NHS FBLA members represented their school at the National Conference: Gentry Bowie, Mao Yu Cheng, Cate Hall, Addison Fortenbery, Olivia Herrin, Sarah Hurley, Mikaella Jones, Logan McDonald, Alee Ryon, Sally Shnawa, Jasmine Simpson, and Steven Vilcheck. Their participation spanned various categories, from UX Design and Graphic Design to Sales Presentation and Website Design.

The NHS FBLA also achieved recognition for its community projects. Three of their initiatives – the American Enterprise Project, the Partnership with Business Project, and the Community Service Project – successfully competed at the state level and qualified for the national conference. The Community Service Project raised over $10,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maryland.

NHS FBLA Advisor Nancy Wilt-Tassa highlighted the longstanding impact of FBLA at Northern High School, emphasizing its role in developing business skills and preparing students for future careers. The chapter has been active for over 25 years and is a popular and impactful club at the school.

For more information about the NHS FBLA, inquiries can be directed to Advisor Nancy Wilt-Tassa at or by phone at 443.550.8950. The achievements of these students at the national level underscore the talent and dedication nurtured within the Calvert County Public Schools, particularly at Northern High School.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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