• Academic Groups


    Bellevue West DECA is an extra-curricular organization associated with the marketing and advanced marketing classes taught at Bellevue West. Students learn about various aspects of business and then put their knowledge to the test at local, state, and national conferences. During these conferences, students face real life business situations for which they must come up with solutions or ideas. Students are also able to compete with projects that they have dedicated hard work and endless hours to all year. Members of Bellevue West DECA strive to do many different things, including:

    • Volunteer
    • Raise money
    • Create awareness for a cause
    • Research
    • Promote businesses
    • And many more

    Over the past years, Bellevue West DECA has had over 800 National Qualifiers and 14 National Champions. Our students have received over $1 million in scholarships. We have also raised over $100,000 to be donated to charities. We pride ourselves not only on our awards, but also on the way we carry ourselves around school, at conferences, and in the community. Students are expected to be positive influences on their peers and to keep their academics at the top of their priority list.

    Bellevue West DECA has a family atmosphere where students can express themselves and share their passion for competition and marketing. Students learn skills that will benefit them for the rest of their life, such as, teamwork, communication, and leadership. With these skills, students are more prepared for college and even their future careers.

    Sponsor: Noah Graziano (Noah.Graziano@bpsne.net)


    Educators Rising

    Educators Rising is an organization that helps make sure teachers have the experience and skills they need to be ready for the classroom. Starting with high school students, we provide passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustain their interest in the profession, and help them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators. The result is a pipeline of accomplished teachers who are positioned to make a lasting difference not only in the lives of their students, but also in the field of teaching.

    Vision: Every teacher in America has the skills and experience to help all students achieve their potential.

    Mission: Educators Rising cultivates highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path to becoming accomplished teachers, beginning in high school and extending through college and into the profession.

    Visit the Nebraska Educators Rising website for more information.

    Sponsor: Deanna Vavak (Deanna.Vavak@bpsne.net)


    Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

    Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a national career student association for students in grades 7-12 who are interested in business or business education careers. Over 5,300 students in more than 130 high schools in Nebraska participate in the FBLA program. Benefits of FBLA membership are business proficiencies, community responsibility, leadership skills, and self-confidence.

    The mission of FBLA is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

    FBLA is co-curricular and has competitive events in over 50 areas of study. Where possible our competitive events and other programs are aligned to the National Standards for Business Education including standards for accounting, marketing, economics, and business law.

    Bellevue West FBLA has been recognized at the local, state, and national level due to the many successes its members have achieved through competition, service, and leadership development. Here are some of the highlights:

    • Largest Class A Local Chapter Award, 2017
    • Second Place-March of Dimes Donation of $1,233.66, 2017
    • Sweepstakes Award, 2017
    • Over 150 state winners, 2000-2017
    • Over 30 national winners, 2000-2017
    • Leader in developing partnerships with local businesses
    • Internships
    • Job placement
    • Job shadowing
    • Career preparation
    • Scholarships
    • International travel

    Sponsors: Pat Hinkle (patricia.hinkle@bpsne.net) and Kathie Britten (kathie.britten@bpsne.net)



    The Thunderbird Forensics Team is an organization committed to developing effective, confident communicators. Forensics Team members have the opportunity to explore various forms of performance and speech writing within the classroom and competitions. Students have a unique opportunity to learn freedom of expression by developing effective, logical arguments and learning interpretation skills.

    The Forensics Team is co-curricular, so students must take the introduction, intermediate, or advanced forensics class in order to compete and will have after school commitments in order to accomplish the class requirements. This program teaches students to work in a team environment while developing themselves as individuals through: 

    • Development of critical thinking and decision-making skills
    • Social development (interpersonal communication skills, group communication, conflict management, and interviewing skills)
    • Leadership opportunities

    In the past 9 years, this program has seen: 

    • Two runner-up team placements at NSAA districts
    • Various state qualifiers
    • State finalists
    • Multiple individual champions at regular season tournaments
    • Multiple individual champions at NSAA districts
    • Two, three, and four-time National Tournament Qualifiers
    • A national quarter-finalist
    • Placement in the top 10% of all forensics programs by the National Speech and Debate Association

    Sponsor: Becca Hier (rebecca.hier@bpsne.net)



    HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) Division of ACTE. HOSA's two-fold mission is to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. HOSA's goal is to encourage all health science instructors and students to join and be actively involved in the HSE-HOSA Partnership.

    HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation, and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, adult, and collegiate students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or have interests in pursuing careers in health professions.

    Since its inception in 1976, HOSA has grown steadily reaching over 245,000 members through 54 chartered HOSA Associations, American Samoa, Canada, District of Columbia, Germany, Italy, and Puerto Rico.

    HOSA is not a club to which a few students in school join. Rather, HOSA is a powerful instructional tool that works best when it is integrated into the HSE and health science related curriculum and classroom. HSE instructors are committed to the development of the total person. Those who join the HSE-HOSA Partnership recognize the importance of providing students with training far beyond the basic technical skills needed for entry into the health care field. The rapidly changing health care system needs dedicated workers who, in addition to their technical skills, are people-oriented and capable of playing a leadership or followership role as a member of a health care team.

    HOSA's mission is especially critical when considering the acute shortage of qualified workers for the health care industry. It is essential that the HSE-HOSA Partnership maintain its momentum and encourage all HSE instructors to integrate HOSA into their curriculum and classrooms.

    Sponsor: Leslie Hooper (Leslie.Hooper@bpsne.net)

    Mock Trial

    Mock Trial develops students' analytical abilities, communication skills, and knowledge of our judicial system. Students will gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society. With the assistance of a teacher and attorney coach students experience the excitement of working in teams, exchanging ideas, setting goals, and examining issues while interacting with positive role models from their communities. By studying the case and preparing strategies and arguments for trial, students also develop presentation skills, analytic ability, and team cooperation.

    Sponsor: Katie Alford (Katherine.Alford@bpsne.net)


    Mu Alpha Theta

    Mu Alpha Theta, the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society, was formed in 1957 at the University of Oklahoma. We are dedicated to inspiring a keen interest in mathematics, developing strong scholarship in the subject, and promoting the enjoyment of mathematics in high school and two-year college students. As of June 2017, more than 110,000 students are Mu Alpha Theta members at more than 2,400 schools in the United States and in 20 foreign countries. 

    Sponsor: Jacob Eitzen (Jacob.Eitzen@bpsne.net)


    National Honor Society

    National Honor Society recognizes outstanding high school students. NHS honors those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

    Sponsor: Jacob Eitzen (jacob.eitzen@bpsne.net)



    The Bellevue West Publications department is a student-run award-winning organization that cover news, features, entertainment, commentary, and sports for the Bellevue West community. Publications include The Thunderbird Yearbook and Video Yearbook and The Thunderbeat newspaper and website.

    Students attend a variety of school activities in an official journalistic capacity, reporting on everything from sports to music to club activities. Journalists develop interviewing, writing, photography, videography, and design skills, all of which enhance their success across the curriculum. Students also work in a collaborative environment and learn how to successfully meet strict deadlines.

    The publications have received Golden Kernel Awards for Writing and Coverage and recognition from the Nebraska High School Press Association as publications of distinction and superior quality. Several reporters have been recognized for writing and video excellence by the University of Nebraska at Omaha, The Nebraska State Activities Association, the Nebraska Press Women Association, and the National Federation of Press Women.

    The department also publishes The Escape Key, a literary magazine, as a collaboration with the creative writing classes in the English Department. The Escape Key has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English as a superior publication.

    Sponsors: Julie Rowse (julie.rowse@bpsne.net) and Aaron Stueve (aaron.stueve@bpsne.net)


    Science National Honor Society

    The National Honor Society aims to recognize and to encourage participation in scienetific and intellectual thought.  This prominent scientific organizaiton seeks to inspire a enw group of young thinkers who will be the future of industry research, and scientific exploration in America.

    Sponsors: Kristina Armbruster (kristina.armbruster@bpsne.net)


    Skills U.S.A.

    SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student to excel. SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations and for further education.

    Sponsor: Mathew Henry (mathew.henry@bpsne.net)