DECA club earns high marks at state
Several Quincy High School students placed in the top 15 at the state DECA competition this past weekend in Bellevue.
Club advisor Elizabeth Averill said the competition went well, with her young team (22 members in all) earning some high scores and valuable competition experience.
“It was one of the largest groups we’ve brought to state,” Averill said. “They were strong competitors across the board.”
DECA is a business and marketing student organization. One of the most valuable lessons Averill hopes her students take away from DECA are the presentation and problem-solving skills that are important for their future careers.
For sophomore Anahi Sanchez, the trip to state was her first. She competed in accounting. Her experiences in DECA have helped her narrow her career path to marketing or accounting, Sanchez said.
“I like being a part of something and working toward a target,” she said.
“I enjoy being creative and being part of a team,” said Eva Buys, a freshman. “We can bounce ideas off each other.”
To earn a spot at state, the local DECA students had to place well at the Area 10 competition, where they competed with students from 12 schools in the region.
Winning first place in Area 10 were: Alicia Fregoso and Sanchez in accounting, Irma Medina in hotel and lodging, and Ryan Lubach in retail merchandising.
Placing second were: Maggie Buenrostro in professional selling, Ivar Nielson in business services, Elizabeth Nielson and Erin Navarro in hospitality services, Eva Buys and Aurelia Guerrero in buying and merchandising, David Navarro and Priscilla Castillo in marketing communications, Heidi Bishop and Sam Klein in sports and entertainment, and Kaitlin Ramsey and Beatriz Avalos for travel and tourism.
Placing third were: Eric Navarro and Jose Cuevas in financial services and Rollie Ronish and Destiney Escure in sports entertainment.
To fund its trip to state, DECA sponsored a daddy-daughter dance in January for the second year. Attendance tripled this year, which helped the students meet their goals. Because of the community’s support, DECA plans to make the dance an annual event, Averill said.
Two local DECA teams also are moving on to the DECA international competition on April 25-28 in Orlando, Fla., for their in-depth projects on school-based enterprise.
Seniors Ivar Nielson, Lubach and Luis Guerrero put together a 48-page certification project on Java Jacks, a coffee stand at the high school. And juniors Erin Nieuwenhuis and Liz Nielson put together a recertification for the Hutch, a student-run store, that focused on HR operations and distribution channel management.
“It will be amazing. There will be students from all 50 states and more,” said Nieuwenhuis. “I love the thrill you get when you have to think fast, think on your feet.”
Averill said those five students headed to the international competition are fundraising and identifying sponsors for their trip.
In other DECA news, Nieuwenhuis also was recently elected to be the Area 10 president, representing the area at state and international events.
To be elected, she had to apply, interview, take a test, and give a campaign speech. Her test scores were some of the highest in the state.
“We are proud of her,” Averill said.
Nieuwenhuis wants to ensure every DECA chapter is equally represented at the state level and to plan more activities for schools that are social members, who might not attend the competitions.
“The best part of DECA is getting to meet other people,” she said.
— By Rebecca Young, QVPR contributor