DECA State Competiton

We’re all Winners

DECA Winners  The Hershey Lodge served as a gracious host for a 3-day DECA state competition. DCTS was represented by six of its finest Retail Marketing & Sales students poised and primed for competition, and they have hardware to prove it. In fact, the seniors made their mark by winning 1st place for “Financial Literacy Project,” State Finalists for both “Sports & Entertainment Marketing Promotion” and “Fashion Merchandising Promotion” and lastly, Top Written Test Score for “Fashion Merchandising.” Our junior earned “Top Written Score” in the Finance category, and our freshman served as a fierce competitor in the Job Interview category.

The event was fueled with energy, which was a good thing because the schedule was packed with networking opportunities, meetings, seminars, role plays, campaigns & elections, meals, awards ceremonies, dances, socials, and Act 48 credits…for the teachers, of course. The Written Exam

Wednesday kicked-off with dinner followed by opening ceremonies. I enjoyed the dress code for this (khakis for all; blue polos for advisers; white polos for students) because it was easy to determine the students from the advisers.

My favorite part about the post-dinner festivity was the energy. The room was electric, and almost every sensory was engaged from visual to auditory. The State Officers were uniformly dressed and the show was choreographed and timed to perfection. Also that night, the students participated in the written exam. The picture featured above is a visual of  what it looks like when 2,000 high school students take a test at the same time — it sure was quiet! The students were rewarded with a dance social and were tucked in by curfew at 11:30pm.

Thursday I had the privilege of joining the other new advisers for training in one of the Lodge’s esteemed and prestigious conference rooms: The Cocoa Boardroom (page 8 picture on left — amazing). Guest speakers pumped information and experiences into us  — we left the meeting hungry for next year and thirsting for more 4-1-1 on how to build/foster the DECA mission in our curriculum. I also gained valuable networking relationships with several other teachers who share with me the fear of being new and the wherewithal to be successful and make things happen.

Other benchmarks for the day include:

  • The Fashion Show — it was so real it was as if we were in Paris or NYC…I loved it!
  • I tried chocolate wings because, after all, I was in the Chocolate Mecca of the world!
  • I had the esteemed privilege of dining with my team and learning more about who they are and what they want out of life.
  • We also attended the Mini Awards session where two of the students were recognized.

I was (and continue to be) impressed with the State Officers. They are a very charismatic group of young leaders. I admired their solidarity and color coordination throughout each event.

Friday was the last day. Breakfast for the advisers and chaperones was in The Hershey Den. I enjoyed speaking with a former teacher and his amazing wife who shared their career and life experiences with me. For the grand finale, the students were once again showered with recognition and appreciation for their hard work and dedication to their school and DECA chapter. We packed our bags and headed back to Harrisburg. The students were elated when the bus arrived at DCTS. We parted ways in pursuit of a much anticipated weekend of downtime (and possibly an extra day off as there snow in the forecast). They have a lot to be proud of — they did AWESOME. I can’t take a lot of credit for what they accomplished since I am the newbie, but I learned so much from them…so much that I feel like the 1st place winner of the 2014 DECA State Competition.