Hannah Harshbarger becomes BPA State President of Montana


Photo courtesy of Harshbager

Harshbarger smiles in her Officers uniform

Photo courtesy of Harshbager
Harshbarger smiles in her Officers uniform

Being a leader requires the drive to be better than your past self and the desire to show people the ropes. You need the integrity to do the right thing even when no one is watching. Most people nowadays do not possess the skills to do that.

One of the most common fears is public speaking, and being able to overcome that fear and be confident in front of others distinguishes a good leader.

Senior Hannah Harshbarger has become such a leader at Park High School as state president of Business Professionals of America (BPA), the first PHS student to serve in this role in many years, said adviser Reid Lende.

Although Lende encouraged her to join as a freshman, Harshbarger joined BPA her sophomore year. Her sophomore year, she decided to give it a try as Lende helped introduced her to some events. She started to really come out of her comfort zone as time went on in BPA. Harshbarger started to compete in some events and helped her become more open to speak publicly for BPA.

“I’ve always been a very shy, introverted person…BPA really helps you overcome the fear of public speaking and communication and things like that,” Harshbarger said.

Lende urged Harshbarger to run for an officer position for her senior year. The election for BPA State President occurred in March of 2019. Harshbarger was originally running for an officer role, but Lende said the outgoing officers thought that she was the most well-spoken and possessed the qualities to take on the role of BPA State President.

“She was book smart before, but now I think she’s more well-rounded,” Lende said.

As BPA State President Harshbarger some responsibilities to fulfill. She has a conference call with the other officers to discuss and set up the BPA events, and will sometimes will go early to make sure everything is properly set up.

Harshbarger plans two different events, the Fall Leadership Conference, at Fairmont Hot Springs in October and the state conference in March.

The state officers are working with Harshbarger to come up with workshops and activities to do at those conferences. She also works on planning the venues and themes of these conferences.

One of Harshbarger’s official duties is to help the officers with newsletters to keep the students updated on what is happening with BPA as well as to stay in contact with them.

Within Park High’s BPA chapter, Harshbarger has been working with fellow members to plan fundraisers to offset the cost of travel to various competitions. They also raise money for Special Olympics. Her next big task will be to help Lende prepare for the regional competition, which Park High will host Dec. 10.