Eighteen high-schoolers across the St. Joseph School District have ranked among the top business students in the nation through the High School of Business program.
The accelerated business administration program has students participating in hands-on business projects across six separate courses, creating their own businesses over the course of three years. The program, which provides opportunities for college credit, had approximately 8,000 students from around the country enrolled during the 2018-2019 school year.
Ethan Duncan, a junior at Benton High School, scored among the top 10 percent of students in the nation on the most recent exams.
“In our first year, we get in the groups of four or five and reach out to local businesses and ask them how they manage and organize things,” Duncan said. “And then in our second year, we start planning our own business that we want to do for our third year, and that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re ironing stuff out, and we’re going out and getting sponsorships so we can fund our own business for the second semester of this year.”
His group’s business, “March Bagness,” is a cornhole tournament he hopes to build into an annual program.
Classes included the principles of business, finance and management and business economics and business strategies.
Duncan said his older sisters benefited greatly from the program when they were in high school, and while he may not go into business administration in the future, the lessons he’s learned will be beneficial, regardless of the profession.
“(The program) teaches you how to manage other people and how to motivate the people you work with. It teaches you how to get them to do a quality job and how to manage your time more efficiently,” he said. “It teaches you how to find good people to work with and the best way to do a job.”
He went on to say that he’s happy to see himself and his fellow students recognized for their efforts.
“It’s something to be proud of, and being top-ranked nationally in our business programs — it’s definitely something to take pride in,” Duncan said.