Morgan DeGlopper – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- On Saturday, April 7 LRHS sophomore Derek Breiner won first place in Medical Spelling at the HOSA States Leadership Convention (SLC).

breiner with parents
LRHS sophomore Derek Breiner (c) celebrates success with parents

Breiner has been a member of HOSA for four years, joining at R. Dan Nolan Middle school in seventh grade. Over the years, he has consistently succeeded in the Medical Spelling competition.

In this competition, students first take a multiple-choice test. Those who score highest get to compete in a spelling bee style event. The last one standing wins.

Breiner won first place at the regional competition held at Keiser University in February. However, the SLC convention includes HOSA members from all over Florida and puts the competition on a much larger scale.

“I was pretty stressed going into the first round. There were nearly 50 other competitors there,” Breiner stated.

Breiner was especially stressed because he didn’t study as much as he wanted. He only studied for about three hours before entering his event’s waiting room.

When he began the second-round spell down, he didn’t think he would win it.

“I was uncertain because everyone seemed highly skilled,” Breiner admitted.

As the competition proceeded, his confidence was built as simple words like “cancer” and “yogurt” were given to his fellow competitors.

Unlike other competitions at the SLC, Breiner knew automatically that he was going to Nationals due to the nature of his event. He did not hesitate to tell his friends, family, and adviser.

LRHS HOSA adviser Carol Lidey was very happy when Breiner gave her the news.

“Everyone was happy for me. My adviser even congratulated me with a sign that said ‘Congratulations Lakewood Ranch Gold,'” Breiner said. “When I was on the stage I was admittedly confused about where to stand, who to shake hands with, and where to look for pictures.”

This present earned Breiner the nickname of “Golden Boy” from his friends and family.

Even though Breiner’s trip to Nationals in Texas would have been fully paid, he cannot go due to previous family commitments.

Still, Breiner got the privilege of going on stage in front of the entire convention and standing on the first-place pedestal where he was awarded the golden medal for his event.

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