Delaware teen elected National President of the Business Professionals of America

Middletown, DE-  Rachel Wagner, a Junior at Appoquinimink High School has been elected the National President of Business Professionals of America (BPA), Secondary Division.

With 43,000 members in 23 states, BPA is America’s premier career and technical organization for students interested in business, IT and finance.

Ms. Wagner was elected by popular vote at the BPA National Conference in May – an event attended by more than 5,000 delegates.

She will serve as the National President during the 2014-15 school year. Her duties will include participation in local and national efforts to promote BPA and student participation in its programs. Beginning this summer, she’ll have an opportunity to travel on behalf of the organization, and will be a key member of the planning team responsible for developing the 2015 National BPA Conference in Anaheim, CA along with the other members of the 2014/2015 National Officer Leadership Team.

“I have dreamt of becoming a National Officer since I was in 7th grade, simply to make a difference within in this amazing organization. I believe in the Business Professionals of America; I know this will be a life-changing year.”

The mission of BPA is to contribute to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership; citizenship; academic, career and technological skills. BPA’s signature initiative, the Workplace Skills Assessment Program, provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate real-world business skills and problem-solving abilities in 70+ competitive events (Finance; Business Administration; Management Information Systems; Digital Communication & Design; and Management, Marketing & Communications) offered at the regional, state and national level.

Rachel’s involvement in BPA began in Middle School when she was introduced to the program by Business Teacher and BPA advisor Linda Prickett. As an 7th and 8th Grader, she won 1st place in Public Speaking at the National Conference, received the Ambassador Torch Award, and participated in the National Officer For A Day Program.

Since then, she’s earned several other national honors including multiple top ten finishes on the national level, the Ambassador Torch Award an additional two times, and just recently at the past National Leadership Conference, received the Business Professionals of America Merit Scholar Award. But it was the experience of “shadowing” a member of the Executive Council that inspired her to become a leader in the organization. Coming to Appoquinimink High School introduced her to the High School Advisors- Cheryl Apparicio and Charles Welsh, who offered her the support needed to become a State, and, eventually a National Officer.  During the 2013-14 school year, Rachel completed a successful term as the State President of the Delaware Association. Then, in May of this year, at BPA’s 48th National Leadership Convention (held in Indianapolis), she was elected to the organization’s top office.

One of the skills that helped propel this teen to success is her ability to juggle multiple high-stakes challenges. Before she travels to Ohio for National BPA Officer Training in July, Rachel will be competing at the Odyssey of the Mind International Competition with her high school team. (They qualified by placing second at the statewide competition for their Division in April, and will be the first high school team from Appoquinimink High School to compete at this level.)

Rachel is quick to recognize former State and National President Brian Kelleher as her mentor and inspiration for her leadership goals. Coincidentally, Brian was also taught by Middle School teacher Linda Prickett- and it is through her that Rachel met Brian.

Through the organization, she also made several very close friendships, including the members of her previous Delaware State Officer Team. The 2014/2015 Delaware State President (and Rachel’s successor) David Woodside served as her campaign manager at the National Leadership Conference. Rachel is incredibly thankful for the assistance of her fellow member, and knows she would not be who she is today without the influences of him, and many other individuals in the organization.

Members of the press are invited to interview/photograph/film Rachel, her family, advisors and fellow BPA members. Contact information appears below.

Expert Contacts:

Rachel Wagner (Parents Michael and Stephanie Wagner)  (dad’s email)


Cheryl Apparicio / Charles Welsh

BPA Advisors – Appoquinimink High School /

302-449-3840 main office

Linda Prickett

BPA Advisor – Alfred G. Waters Middle School

302-449-3490 main office