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Students win big at business competition

Business Savvy
Posted on 05/23/2019
business students

When the University of Guelph developed a business competition for high school students throughout Ontario, they didn’t expect to see Windsor schools participate.  Not only did Windsor show up, they went home with a ton of awards.

Launched in 2018, the Business Pentathlon is an event that runs on campus in Guelph in May at the same time as the Science Olympiad. Five events ranging from product development to sustainability to case study presentations tested the province’s top students to prove their business acumen.

In last year’s competition, Assumption was the only school from Windsor to attend, with the team of Mirna Eshaya, Deep Sandhu, Stiv Berberi and Renz Arcelao winning first place in two of the five events. Of the 59 teams competing, Assumption was the only program west of London.

This year, three WECDSB schools attended and took home a total of four first place awards and one second place finish.

Noting that the competition provides students with a great opportunity to explore perspectives beyond the local region, Assumption business teacher Jeremy Bracken reached out to colleagues at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School and Holy Names Catholic High School to accompany his team for the 2019 event, and WECDSB schools continued their winning ways.  

Both St. Joseph’s and Holy Names have Specialist High Skills Major programs in business which expose their students to a range of topics from economics to accounting. These insights proved fruitful as St. Joseph’s students performed extremely well throughout the five events, placing fourth place overall.

Meanwhile the Holy Names team of Carson Sadler, Maia Pupatello, Sarah Moxley, Nick Metcalfe won first place in two events and took home the award of top overall team.

“I loved the competition and all the events we got to participate in and I loved the fact we won,” said Sadler, a Grade 12 student. “The theme of business ethics was very cool. It was eye opening to learn about another side of business and the importance of including morals and ethics in your business endeavors."

Pupatello said the competition was “an incredible opportunity.”

“This competition was an amazing learning experience, and I cannot wait to make connections with what we learned in the future,” she said. “Overall, we are very pleased with the competition and how we worked as a team. We look forward to attending next year’s competition."

Holy Names business teacher Marc Leonardi said his department strives to develop students with strong communication skills who can make connections between business and their community.

“Taking first place as the top senior team was rewarding for our students as they were able to successfully utilize classroom pedagogy in the Pentathlon competition,” he added. “It was a great experience to see all our teams compete successfully and represent WECDSB.”

Assumption’s team of Sophia Symmons, Nathan Kouvalis, Kyle Kowalsky and Mekhi Quarshie won first place in the team building/leadership event and finished in second place overall in the field of 72 teams.  

“I have a ton of respect for the business departments at Holy Names and St. Joe’s so I wanted them to join us in Guelph,” said Bracken. “Although Holy Names was the only team ahead of us, I have no regrets about inviting them. Seeing WECDSB’s brightest students put their skills against the top programs from around the province is an excellent learning experience.”

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