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Rice wins at nationals

Jagger Rice

“To place first in the country in anything is an incredible accomplishment,” said Denise Perry, retired HCHS business teacher and current FBLA and parliamentary procedure coach. “But parliamentary procedure is considered to be one of the most difficult competitions, the most rigorous and most demanding event. If you’ve ever studied or worked with Robert’s Rules of Oder, you know how hard the subject is, and to understand all the nuances of it like Jagger does is amazing.”

Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure is a competition reserved for freshmen and sophomores only. The top qualifiers from regional competition move on to state and the top finishers at state go on to nationals. Rice competed against hundreds of other FBLA members, some of whom had an extra year of experience and studying. Rice answered 91 out of 100 questions correctly in an hour-long computerized test. The event tests the students’ understanding of the FBLA Bylaws and the principles of parliamentary procedure.

“It still gives me goosebumps. It’s a huge deal,” said Rice’s business teacher from last year Barney Sutley. “It’s mind-numbing the stuff that he knows. Jagger is a great example for other students. He put in the work necessary to perform at a high level and was rewarded for his efforts.”     

Rice said he spent an entire month entering the 1,200 Robert’s Rules of Order questions and answers into a computer app that builds study guides.

“He spent a month just preparing his study materials,” remarked Perry. “He put forth an incredible effort to win this as a freshman. He came early to practice when he didn’t have to and he chose to work with the parli team, not only to learn more and prepare, but to be a part of the team effort.”

The next logical step for Rice, who is also serving as the school’s chapter president, will be to join HCHS’ parliamentary procedure team, which he intends to do at some point, but he also has ambitions to hold state or national offices.

“At every level of FBLA there is an officer team and one of those positions is parliamentarian. They basically advise the officers on how they should carry out the meetings they have, and they also organize a fundraiser for the March of Dimes,” Rice explained. “I have already decided that I will run for state parliamentarian, but I haven’t decided if I’ll run for national yet. I have applied for the national council for the current parliamentarian. If I get that, I would be Director of Resources, which means I would prepare educational materials for the country – all the FBLA chapters, local and state.”

Those are pretty big plans for a student who admitted that he didn’t even know what FBLA was when he started high school last year. Rice attributes much of his success to Sutley and Perry, and hopes this recognition will encourage other students to join FBLA.

“Sutley has been my favorite teacher so far. I don’t know if it can get any better. He’s great, he’s inspiring and he knows how to motivate,” Rice said. “Denise is amazing; an amazing lady. I would text her with a question and she would come help me with it as soon as I needed it. We had a meeting where she went through all the questions; I told her all my concerns and she taught me everything she knew.”

Rice’s advisors are as complimentary of him as well.

“I could definitely see him being a national officer,” Sutley said.

“The national parliamentarian is based on the person who completes the application process then takes the test and scores the highest. That could quite possibly be our own Jagger Rice,” Perry said. “He has the poise, composure, confidence and work ethic to achieve whatever he chooses, and he sets the standard for other students by being such a positive role model. The sky is the limit for Jagger.”

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