Sunday, June 17, 2018
Education

Middleton High student wins FBLA national presidency

TAMPA — Three years ago, Max Michel decided to run for District 4 historian of the Florida Future Business Leaders of America, the largest student career organization in the world.

As he stood before 800 of his peers to deliver his campaign speech, he attempted to speak but nothing would come out. He lost.

In March of this year Max took another run for office, hoping to win the title of state president of the group. He lost again.

Not to be dismayed, three months later Max again pursued an office during FBLA's national leadership conference in Anaheim, Calif., – as national president.

This time, the Middleton High School senior snagged a win.

Max, 17, nabbed 60 percent of the vote to be seated as the top student in the 230,000 student organization.

For Max, the victory was sweet but humbling.

"Looking back, losing the first time opened doors for me," he said during a telephone interview while in Virginia for leadership training. "It showed me how much further I could go."

Winning the presidency was not among Max's goals when he joined FBLA as an eighth grader at Liberty Middle School.

The organization's emphasis on service was the major attraction. FBLA supports March of Dimes as well as other charitable groups and encourages its members to host fundraisers for a variety of causes.

Additional FBLA programs include leadership development and academic competitions.

Max said he is unsure if he wants to pursue a career in business after college. But he credits FBLA for inspiring him to commit to a life of serving others.

"It's been influential in showing me the impact of service," he said.

After losing the race for district historian, Max said he was content to just continue as an active member of FBLA.

But after winning second place in a competitive event, Middleton teacher and FBLA advisor Tayo Akinrefon urged Max to give more speeches and do more networking.

It was necessary prep work for a run for statewide president.

"My teacher pushed me into some uncomfortable positions," Max said.

Akinrefon said Max carries a tenacity and "can-do attitude" that belies his teenage years.

"He does his own thing, runs his own road," he said. "When he wants something, he goes after it."

Max was unsuccessful at capturing the statewide presidency and hesitated when Akinrefon suggested he focus on the national office.

The election was just a few months away. Max had lost twice previously.

"When my teacher told me I'd be running for president I was completely confused," he said.

But Akrinrefon was unwavering in his belief that Max could win the top spot.

"I told him 'you're going for the national'," he said. "Once I gave him that seed, he ran off with it."

In his campaign speech, Max said he talked about his longtime commitment to the organization and his work at the chapter level, which included fundraising efforts.

As president, Max has the opportunity to visit different state chapter conferences as well as travel to FBLA events in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and China.

Max said he looks forward to the travel and a chance to meet students throughout the organization.

But most importantly is the opportunity to serve others, he said.

"I know it's going to fly by," he said of the next year. "But right now I'm just enjoying it."

Contact Kenya Woodard at [email protected]

Comments
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18
School board races attract new faces

School board races attract new faces

TAMPA — When long-time Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes resigned this month from the board to run for the State House of Representatives, the decision affected more than just her seat in west Hillsborough’s District 1.It also coul...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

TAMPA — Money that the Hillsborough County School District needs to build schools and replace air conditioners might be farther from reach, thanks to a new state law and a bureaucratic process required before the voters can decide on a tax referendum...
Published: 06/14/18
University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

The University of Chicago will no longer require ACT or SAT scores from U.S. students, sending a jolt through elite institutions of higher education as it becomes the first top-10 research university to join the test-optional movement.Numerous school...
Published: 06/14/18
Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano presented to the School Board Tuesday nearly $53 million worth of budget priorities, asking them to choose which will be funded in the upcoming school year.The board voted 3-2 later Tue...
Published: 06/13/18
UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

The University of Tampa’s MFA program will host the June 2018 Residency Visiting Writers Lectores Series that runs from now until June 21 on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Each reading will be held at 7:30 p.m.Each January ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano will step down at the end of this month following a 3-2 vote by the School Board to terminate its contract with her amid increasing concerns about her ability to lead.Romano has suffere...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

NEW PORT RICHEY — The dozen Fivay High school students and their administrators arrived at the Pasco County school district’s annual Together We Stand conference with a clear goal in mind.With hundreds of former Ridgewood High students arriving in th...
Published: 06/12/18
Central’s air rifle team prepares for national competition

Central’s air rifle team prepares for national competition

BROOKSVILLE — Historic Camp Perry is where it’s at. Located near Clinton, Ohio, the National Guard training facility is where the nation’s top shooters go to compete.Next week, some of Hernando County’s top shooters compete there in the Civilian Mark...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/14/18
An ambitious new goal for Hillsborough schools: Every child up to speed on reading by third grade

An ambitious new goal for Hillsborough schools: Every child up to speed on reading by third grade

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins has an ambitious new goal. He wants more students to be proficient in reading."I think it is the code to crack," Eakins said in an interview. He also told the School Board on Tuesday that ...
Published: 06/08/18