by CHRISTINE BIGNEY
Lena Sims looks like the-girl-next-door, a senior at Rockford High School. She’s articulate, pleasant to talk to, and occasionally humorous. Any parent would be proud to have Lena as their daughter, just on that basis alone. But Lena is something special. Not only does she thrive on “lots of AP (advanced placement) classes,” such as AP English, AP calculus, AP physics, and AP Spanish, Lena has won an award that many students would find elusive. This past January, Lena won 1st place at the State Competition in Fundamental Accounting, an award sponsored by the Business Professionals of America. Mr. Noel Fike, Lena’s BPA chapter advisor, and teacher of business management courses at Rockford High School, asked his business students if any of them would be interested in competing for this award. “This is something new for Rockford this year. We get extra funding from the state if we have this available to the students. We had 27 members this year,” Fike said.
Fike went on to say that there were many competitions to compete in at Davenport University. Five students from Rockford were able to go to Regionals, Lena being the only one scoring 100 percent.
Was the test hard? “Not really,” Lena said, smiling. “There were a few things I didn’t know, but we were allowed to use the manual, so as long as you had an idea, you were ok.”
The awards ceremony was held at the Amway JW Marriott, where 2000 people gathered in anticipation of the announcement of the awards. “I really hoped I would just make nationals, but I couldn’t believe
I was number one in the state!” Lena exclaimed. Lena hopes to pursue international accounting, “So I can use my Spanish,” she said. Ohio State or the University of Michigan is her college choices. “Hopefully over Spring break I can make a decision.”
Mr. and Mrs. Fike along with Lena’s mom Connie, will be accompanying Lena to the nationals in Dallas, Texas May 6 through May 10.
Lena’s dad, Leslie Sims, is currently in Iraq, working as an electrician government contractor. He has been there since last October.
When asked if she participates in any sports, Lena replied that she was in Crew for three years, “But now I mostly work on getting scholarships.”
Mr. Fike said, “I’m extremely pleased about the group as a whole, and Lena placing 1st . It’s nice to see a Rockford student place in it’s first year.