By Lynda Jensen
Spreadsheets and formulas appear to come easily for Madison Wroge of Lester Prairie, as she took home the national title recently in the Spreadsheet Applications & Analysis event during a 2008 national business leadership conference in Reno, Nev.
The win was a surprise to her, making her the second national champion in recent history to win an individual event from Watertown-Mayer School District at competition hosted by the Business Professionals of America.
Previously, student Hannah Sieling won prepared verbal communications in 2003, commented advisor Nancy McAfee. She noted that Andrew Sanquist also won a similar title, but that this was decades ago.
“I like science,” Wroge said, but she admits that spreadsheets aren’t her very favorite thing, despite the success. “It’s not my passion.”
Nevertheless, Wroge managed to beat participants from every state in the union who attended the convention.
During the event, competitors were given 90 minutes to take a set of instructions and make a payroll-based workbook in Excel.
Wroge didn’t hear her name called at first, but her fellow students helped call her attention to this.
As the national champion, Wroge received a plaque, a $125 gift card from Microsoft and “a lot of congratulations.”
Wroge gave the credit for her victory to Nancy McAfee, the advisor for Watertown-Mayer BPA.
Several students from Watertown-Mayer attended the trip to compete, along with Wroge.
During her trip, Wroge capped off her win with shopping trips and sightseeing.
“Reno is so beautiful, with snow-capped mountains,” she said.
After flying into Sacramento, the students drove through the mountains to reach Reno via Lake Tahoe. Their hotel had access to a sandy pool, which she really enjoyed.
The group also had visits to a zoo, Virginia City, the Donner Pass and downtown Reno in addition to time at the bowling alley and other fun places.
As a senior when the school year starts, Wroge will be president of the Watertown-Mayer chapter this coming year for Watertown-Mayer. She is the daughter of Dan and Diane Wroge of Lester Prairie.
In addition to Wroge, Watertown-Mayer had other members find success at nationals.
The parliamentary procedure team took 10th place and received finalist awards. The team, which was coached by Phyllis Lehrke, is made up of Michelle Pilgram, Amanda Hatling, Emma Kelly, Mason Melville, Brandon Henrich, Megan Geyen and Jacqueline Schuette.
Liljenberg placed 13th in the spreadsheet applications and analysis event and Pavee Udomkarmpaisarn was 17th in the database applications event.
Pilgram, Abigail Braegelmann, Liljenberg, Ryan Kassulker, and Pat Theisen were Torch Recipients, which is the highest individual award (non-competitive). Jenni McKenzie, Aryn Pysick, Tom Schreder, Kassulker, Theisen and Liljenberg all served as conference interns.
Students who competed at nationals were Schreder, Josh Hoeft, Mike Hill and Kyle Schroeder, Zack Stifter, Brittney Drier and Nikki Nielson (web site design team) and Alyssa Beck, Mike Dailing and Liljenberg (small business management team).