DECA Chapter Advances to Nationals

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Written by Sara Hallam and Brittany Nelson

DECA members are making a lasting impression on the Woodgrove business and marketing community by maintaining a successful chapter and running a full-functioning Gold-Certified school store.

DECA is a non-profit student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, business management and administration, and hospitality. Woodgrove’s DECA chapter is a club offered to any student who is enrolled in a high school marketing class, including Personal Finance and Economics, which is required for graduation. Meetings take place in Lab 400 during Green Club days and occasionally during open lunch.

Senior Noah McBride, the current President of DECA, leads club meetings and works hard to run a successful chapter.

“The morning before our meetings, our officer team meets to talk about what will be discussed in the meeting,” said McBride. “Usually we discuss upcoming leadership conferences, field trips, and competitions.”

While these meetings provide important information, they are also fun and interactive for DECA members. “Sometimes we have food at the meetings and play Kahoot (online trivia) for prizes from the school store,” said McBride.

Meetings are not the only exciting part of being a DECA member. DECA also participates in district, state, and national competitions.

“The competitions are the most fun part of DECA, especially if you win,” said McBride.

Recently, 17 DECA members traveled to Virginia Beach to compete at the 74th Annual Virginia DECA State Leadership Conference on March 3. Freshman Bella Beaule, junior Zach Branch, junior Will Fincher, senior Shelby Mullen, and senior Brittany Glidden all placed in the top ten of their respective role play events. Sophomore Issac Barona and Fincher also placed in the top ten of their individual testing sessions.

“I competed in a marketing communications series,” said Fincher. “It was a lot of waiting but definitely worth it.”

Junior Nick Hallam, Barona, and sophomore McKay McBride earned state finalist recognition for overall combined scores in the Sports & Entertainment Promotional Plan Event.

“I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first time at states,” said Hallam. “It turned out to be really fun being with friends and meeting new people.”

They will compete at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California on April 26-29, 2017.

To compete in the national competition, three DECA students write and submit a twenty-five-page paper about the promotion, accounting, and pricing functions utilized in the school store. This year, McBride, senior Andrew Fiedler, and junior Katie Pasielski have dedicated their time to writing their paper to enter in the national competition. At the state competition, their paper earned Gold Certification Status in the School-Based Enterprise category. This means the school store has met all ten standards to be a full-functioning store-based enterprise, and they will continue on to the national competition this April.

Winning is just a bonus to the experience these students are receiving.

“It feels great knowing that all the work we did ended up paying off,” said Executive Team Leader Pasielski. “We get to continue learning and developing new skills we can use not only for our future in DECA, but our future in business.”

While Woodgrove’s school store is a component of DECA competitions, it is not associated solely with the DECA club. The Gold-Certified store is run by students in Hobbs’ third block marketing class. Located in room 401, the school store is open to all students before school from 8:20 to 8:50 a.m. and on Thursdays during open lunch.

Three marketing students run the store at any given time. Two associates are advanced marketing students, and the third is an executive team leader, who is in charge of the opening, closing, and creating the sales records for the daily sales. Woodgrove spirit wear such as sweatshirts, jackets, T-shirts, pants, and basic school supplies are offered in the school store.

Marketing students have worked hard and spend many hours making the school store a successful student enterprise.

Senior Robert Grady said, “I encourage students to stop by the school store and experience our hard work and dedication in the form of a piece of Woodgrove High School spirit wear.”