5 MHS DECA members headed to International competition in Anaheim
Manchester High School’s DECA chapter started the year with twenty-six DECA members. Of the students who went to the district competition, eight qualified for the state level competition, which was held March 10th-12th in Detroit. DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a nationwide student leadership organization that helps prepare high school students for business career.
Team members could choose to compete in areas that reflect their possible future career path and interests from a large number of competitive categories. The competitive categories fall under 6 different career clusters: marketing, business management and administration, finance, hospitality and tourism, entrepreneurship, and personal financial literacy. Some of the events Manchester DECA members competed in were principles of business management, principles of hospitality, business finance services, retail management services, and marketing communicaton.
Advisor Leslie Rollins explained, “Club members began meeting in September to start preparing for the district level competition. Much of the preparation takes place in the business classroom. They also meet weekly, go over sample questions and role plays.”
A few weeks before a competition, students took a 100-question test. Then, at the competition, students participate in in-person role playing with a judge. The highest combined scores in every category proceed to states. This year eight Manchester students, Rachel Fegan, Nehemiah Ingram, John Dobis, Rayna Edwards, Devon Kelly, Elijah Herron, River Spitler, and Grant Tungate competed against hundreds of students from all over the state at the State Career Development Conference in Detroit the weekend of March 10th-12th.
At the State Competition, five students were selected to attend leadership academies at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, CA: Rachel Fegan, John Dobis, Devon Kelly, River Spitler, and Grant Tungate. Rayna Edwards was a top scoring competitor in her event, earning an award and going up on stage. The awards ceremony is quite a production with music, lights, and smoke, a real rock star experience, so being on stage is no little deal.
Manchester which has only had a DECA team for four years, competed against more established teams; some programs have been around for nearly 30 years. They come from much larger schools and from all over the state. Unlike in other competitive events, teams aren’t separated by school size or “class”. Everyone is treated as though they are on an equal playing field. In addition, not all team members are able to be in a business class. Manchester’s team’s success reflects the educational experiences the teachers provide at our high school!
According to its website, DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.