Eleven DECA members advance to international competition

Missouri’s annual DECA State Career Development Conference gathered more than 1,400 high school students from March 18-20. The competition consisted of the DECA members taking tests based on the marketing area being competed in, then going on to simulate a role play based on a business situation.

“You’re given a scenario by a judge for a business situation and you give a solution for it,” said senior Mary Parker, a third place qualifier in the Apparel and Accessories Marketing Series.

An example of what the scenario could be is how to market ticket sales for a Broadway show, as was the role play of juniors Alex Ottinger and Ryan Schoenwandt, who placed second as a team.

“I felt this place was very good for Marketing I students, and the team as a whole did very well, with 29 kids going to state and 11 to internationals,” said Ottinger.

According to Mr. Steve Cross, DECA’s lead advisor, the team tied the record for most international qualifiers in school history.

“I’m proud of the DECA members. They worked hard to get there, and hard work pays off,” said Mr. Cross.

The students prepared for the competition by holding a mini competition, listening to guest speakers, attending a leadership conference, practicing role plays and learning the marketing curriculum.

“All the marketing curriculum is put into DECA, including a unit on competition preparation,” said Mr. Cross. “The students have been working all year.”

The international competition preparation will be alike, consisting of studying and continuing to practice role plays. However, the competition, held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from April 28 to May 2, will differ in that it will be more competitive than the district or state levels.

“I’m looking forward to having a good time and expanding my knowledge of marketing,” said Ottinger.

According to Mr. Cross, the reactions from the students can be described as elated, excited and ecstatic. Senior Grant Koehler describes the atmosphere and basis of DECA best by saying, “Everyday is a role play.”