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Billings students rival each other's professionalism in The Amazing Shake

Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 22, 2024

BILLINGS — Nine fifth grade students from across Billings came together to rival each other's abilities to interact professionally as a part of the annual Amazing Shake competition on Monday, April 15.

“I walked in this morning and it was great. I got wonderful handshakes (and) eye-to-eye contact," said Megan Hoyer with the organization Play Clean Go in affiliation with Par Montana, where part of the competition was hosted.

Students were judge by a variety of criteria including question asking, table manners, handshakes, collaborative abilities and more.

"Do they really involve you, or are they just asking you questions over and over," said Brynlee Trudnowski, a sixth grader and regional champion of last year's amazing shake who returned as a guest judge for this year's event, "Are they really uptight or are they, like, casual?”

Alongside Par Montana, the students were also judged at Buffalo Block and KTVQ.

“It’ll definitely be very important for anything in the future. Right now, it’s important for me to make friends — even in my school, like, just making friends in middle school," said Ava Hammond, who took the initiative to volunteer herself for an interview with Q2.

Despite only one winner heading to Georgia for national competition, all the kids are coached on their social skills.

“They can thrive in this community, regardless of, maybe, what background they come from, what zip code they live in. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about who you are and how you present yourself," said Travis Niemeyer, an Amazing Shake organizer and Beartooth Elementary's principal.