On to state
Storm Lake and Aurelia students involved in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) won big at the district conference held in Fort Dodge. Competing against such schools including Ames, Hampton-Dumont, Fort Dodge and Hinton, Storm Lake accumulated the highest number of points garnering first place. Aurelia DECA students earned third place.
Storm Lake's DECA advisor is Sue Mann; Patti Demers is Aurelia's advisor.
DECA is co-curricular and is infused into the curriculum of marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Of all student organizations, DECA develops leadership skills by offering the most extensive leadership development opportunities. It also promotes free enterprise and entrepreneurship
There are over 6,000 chapters located in all 50 states, District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, two Canadian Provinces and Germany. There are over 160,000 high school and college members.
Storm Lake High School has had a DECA program for the past eight years, being started by Julie Schultze. The students have been successful through the years and have gone on to compete on state-wide and national levels. This is Mann's second year as advisor.
Aurelia has had DECA for the past 10 years and Demers has been the advisor there for the past eight. Aurelia students have also been successful and have competed at the state and national levels a number of times. Currently, Aurelia has the Iowa DECA State Vice President - John Fordyce - and member Dillon Dunn will be running for a state office in Des Moines at the state conference.
Prior to the district competition, the students select an area of interest from the seven business related categories:
* Apparel and Accessories Marketing
* Retail Merchandising
* Full Service Restaurant
* General Marketing
* Food Marketing
* Vehicle and Petroleum
* Quick Service Restaurant
At competition, the students take a written exam in their area (It has been a 100 question test in the past but this year it was half that.) They also take part in a role play. Given a particular situation or problem that may be encountered in a real business, students have 10 minutes to prepare for a response in front of a judge. The role play is worth the equal points as the written exam. The points are added up and the top six in each of the seven categories receive awards.
All of the DECA students have the option to compete at the state contest.
The only preparation the students have is taking old tests, those that may be similar to what they will encounter at the district or state level.
These were the award winners for Storm Lake: Apparel and Accessories Marketing - Nick Sorbe, first place.
Retail Merchandising - John Mach, honorable mention; Kevin Brown, third place; Raquel Burnside, honorable mention; Sam Jennett, second place.
Full Service Restaurant - Ike Issacs, honorable mention; Brett Miller, honorable mention; Todd Utter, second place.
General Marketing - Astar Naphalay, honorable mention; Morae Youde, first place; Molly Daniels, third place; Som Sriboonreguang, honorable mention.
Food Marketing - Mai Saengkio, honorable mention; Matt Adams, honorable mention; Josh Gillman, first place; Phil Smith, second place.
Vehicle and Petroleum - Brian Burke, honorable mention.
Quick Serve Restaurant - Hillery Reinert, honorable mention; Danielle Lewis, honorable mention; John Vrendenburg, honorable mention; Lance Eddie, second place.
There were 29 students who participated from the Storm Lake High School.
Aurelia students who placed were: Tyler Gustafson, first place, Retail Merchandising; Dillon Dunn, second place, Vehicles and Petroleum; Lana DeStigter, third place, Food Marketing; Randy Jessen, third place, Full Service Restaurant Management; John Fordyce, honorable mention, Full Service Restaurant Management; Jana Radke, honorable mention, Apparels and Accessories Marketing.
The DECA students at these two schools work very hard to raise money to pay for their participation in the district, state and national competitions. The Storm Lake DECA students sell the ever-popular DECA coupon cards. The Aurelia Bulldog students have their own "store" - The Pound - and offer snacks at a cost for all the students in the school at certain times of the day/week; sell helium-filled balloons at Valentine's; take part in a specialty frozen food sale and sell cupcakes and suckers. The Aurelia DECA group is also fortunate to have contributions from several businesses in the community. All these fundraisers take time and effort and it shows the dedication of the students involved in DECA to make them successful.
With the DECA program being extracurricular, it does require a great deal of planning and scheduling between the advisors and students. The students involved seem to enjoy the program and for many of them, the information they learn can be advantageous to their future careers. Not all of the students in DECA do go on to pursue business careers but many do.
"The kids have done a very good job," said Mann, adding being involved offers new experiences and socialization.
Demers commented about the program, "DECA is an incredible program that does several things for the students. Some students will get their first taste of success with an award at the district competition. Businesses want employees with teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills. DECA helps students develop these skills."
The state competition will take place March 2-3. At that competition, the students take part in two role play and take part in one test. There are also several other events (small team events and different written events) that the students can take part in.
The top three in each division will have the opportunity to compete at the national level. This year's event will take place in Nashville, TN.