FBLA honors Seth Beckman

Cedartown High's Seth Beckman is headed off to Maryland this week to compete in the FBLA national competition along with others from Georgia as part of a super team of networking students. / Kevin Myrick

One local Cedartown High School student has a chance to show off what kind of tech skills he has on the national level at an upcoming event northward in Maryland.

Seth Beckman will be joined by his advisor Alecia Kelley this week on the trip to the Future Business Leaders of America’s national competition in skills, allowing the two-time state champion to compete in his top category of network design.

A student at both Cedartown High and the Polk County College and Career Academy, Beckman didn’t know if he’d like network design when he originally got into it at Kelley’s urging a few years ago.

Ever since, he’s been hooked into every aspect of how to use a variety of equipment and software to run both school-based and home networks. That work he’s done on his own in the garage – he has his own home network lab with equipment donated from his uncle, who is also in the IT field in Atlanta – that has prepared him for the National competition.

“I’ve taught myself basically anything that I’ve needed so far for the competition,” Beckman said. “I ended up being able to practice that on my own network and when I’ve worked with the school district.”

It helps of course that this year he won his second state championship for Georgia in network design.

“He’s been chosen to be part of one of two super teams that are competing for Georgia,” Kelley said. “It makes me proud that he wants to work so hard and achieve, to better himself and provide an example for the Polk County College and Career Academy at the Cedartown campus.”

Beckman added that he was glad for the chance to go as well.

“It’s quite an opportunity, especially after all the hard work I had to do to get there,” he said. “It’s quite gratifying to be able to do it.”

Eventually he wants to end up going to school to learn more about what has become a true love of his life, and earn a degree in Computer Science. His hopes are to one day work in cybersecurity.

For now he’ll have to settle on making sure the servers are all running and the switches are hooked up right, and do a better job than teams across the country if he wants to come home with the gold.

Beckman’s family and friends won’t have to wait long to find out how it went. He left for Maryland today to fly with Kelley for the competition, and should be back before the July 4 holiday.