TKHS BPA Student is National Champion

His first national experience was a virtual event because of the pandemic. Last year he attended the national event in Dallas. This year was Kaden’s third time qualifying for the national finals and it turned out to be not only his best finish ever, but the best finish for any TK student ever. Kaden is the first TK student to be crowned BPA national champion. 

Hamming actually qualified for two events this year at the national finals. In addition to his national champion title, he also placed 10th in digital media. “I’ve always done digital media production and then I’ve added a different second event that’s always been different every year,” he said. 

Hamming and five other TK BPA students competed at the national event this year:

  • Evan Liu finished 12th in Fundamental Word Processing.


  • Ryan Skidmore finished 23rd in Basic Office Systems. 


  • Freshmen Raegen Chapman, Carmen Reynolds and Katelyn Chase also competed and sharpened their skills.

Hamming said BPA has really helped him recognize what he wants to do in the future. He will be attending Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan next year. 

“I know I want to do something in business. BPA helped me meet new people and make a lot of connections.”

Before going to the national contest in Chicago, Hamming told his teammates to enjoy the time there and make connections with other students. He also encouraged them to do their best but realize they are competing against students from all over the country.

BPA advisor, Keith Hamming, said having six students compete at nationals was nearly his largest group. One other year he took a group of eight students to the finals, but four of them worked together on a group project. 

I'm just very proud of this whole group.  They all achieved so much just to make it to nationals.  Then, to have Kaden make it on stage in two events, one as a national champion, is just awesome,” he said of this year’s national finalists. 

Students took part in opening ceremonies and contests while also getting some free time to visit attractions in the city.

Hamming said he was so impressed with his team - especially since none had been to the national finals before except Kaden and three of them were freshmen. “I had to remind myself and the students that this is nationals - the best of the best - so all of the students who competed should be pleased and proud of their accomplishments. The whole weekend in Chicago was just a very cool experience for us all,” he said.

The BPA students received a grant from the Barry Community Foundation to assist them with costs of attending the national competition.

Hamming had many reasons to be proud of this TKHS team as well as his work with BPA in general. His oldest son, Dawson, a TK BPA alumni, took first place in database applications and third in Linux in the college-level division for Davenport University.

Hamming has been the TK BPA advisor for 26 years. “I feel like BPA gives kids a connection to real-world workforces in general. I think it gives them a chance to explore different categories, meet and build networks with professionals, and it builds their confidence,” he said.