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M-PHS students head to FBLA nationals

Zach Paglia and Tyler Beach - Kirk Boxleitner
Zach Paglia and Tyler Beach
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Marysville-Pilchuck High School students Zach Paglia and Tyler Beach are heading to the national competition for the Future Business Leaders of America in Anaheim, Calif., from June 23-28.

Paglia, a 10th-grader, and Beach, a 9th-grader, are both students at the M-PHS School for the Entrepreneur, and their two-person team placed second in the FBLA regional competition in Spokane from April 9-11.

Paglia and Beach were tasked with developing and delivering a PowerPoint presentation, to last between 5-7 minutes, on the subject of cyber-security, with a special emphasis on information for teenagers.

The duo addressed online shopping and finances, and focused on ways of "staying safe" while using social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook. They learned from their regional competition performance that they need to trim the length of their presentation, even though they hope to incorporate more information in the presentation that they deliver at the national competition.

"Just one picture of yourself can give a lot of details away," Paglia said. "If you're wearing a shirt with a school logo, online stalkers can use that to narrow down where you live."

Beach noted that the "s" on an "https" Web address signifies that a site is secured, while Paglia warned against using the same account passwords for your online shopping and financing sites, such as eBay and PayPal.

"And don't tell people your password," Beach said. "People say they won't tell anyone else, but they might tell their best friends, who could tell other people. It gets around."

While Paglia and Beach are looking forward to the fringe benefits of their trip, such as going to Disneyland, they're actually more enthusiastic about the prospect of engaging in national-level competition with fellow students, something they've only briefly experienced through sporting events.

"It'll be cool to network with kids from other states, all over the nation, and see what it's like over there," said Paglia, who agreed with Beach that, if not for the support of faculty advisor Kris Mikesell, "We wouldn't even have gotten started."

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