PETOSKEY — Petoskey High School’s DECA team brought home 14 state champions and three state finalists from the virtual DECA State Career Development Conference on March 5.
In total, 17 of Petoskey’s 28 students received medals during the state competition, with more than 5,000 high school students taking part.
According to Casie Parker, marketing education teacher at Petoskey High School and advisor for the DECA team, this was the first time the students have ever competed virtually.
“It was definitely different than last year and years before,” said junior Sam Smith, vice president of social media and marketing for the club. “Obviously we couldn’t travel anywhere so we were on Zoom. It was kind of different because we had to share our screen to display the board. It all went pretty fine though.”
In DECA, students learn about careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, entrepreneurship and management. They form groups and choose a category to compete in, such as Buying and Merchandising Operations or Finance Services Team Role Play.
“We have a bunch of different groups that are in DECA and each one of us is in an event,” said junior Dana Cole, secretary for the club. “This year is a little different just because it was over Zoom calls, but so basically we all have these events and they have different rules or regulations (based on the category). So we all had to present to a judge in March.”
Smith and Cole said the presentations usually include a speech, designing a board to use in the presentation and writing a paper.
In an email, Parker added that most of the members will write anywhere from a 10-50 page paper on either a local business, or a completely new business plan, and then give a 15-minute presentation to a judge. However, the requirements may differ by category. For example, students Paige Harris and Patrick Leavy competed in a role-play event where they took a test on their knowledge of the area and then were given a scenario in the field to act out in front of a judge.
The following students placed first in the state for their event and will later compete against students from all 50 states and several different countries at the International Career Development Conference: Hope Wegmen and Jordyn Lake competed in the Buying and Merchandising Operations event; Adelyn Wang and Lily Harris competed in the Buying and Merchandising event; Celia Michael, Emmitt Ratliff, and Sam Smith competed in the Independent Business Plan event; Emma Rauch and Grace Ewing competed in the Innovation Plan event; Delaney Blint, Dana Cole, and Abby Stump competed in the School Based Enterprise event; and Paige Harris and Patrick Leavy competed in the Finance Services Team Role Play event.
Other students making it on stage for an award at the state level were Nolan Spadafore, Marek Beckering, and Parker Streiff in Start-Up Business Plan.
Both Smith and Cole are among the students who qualified to compete at the international competition, which takes place virtually this week.
“I actually had mine already on Monday,” Cole said. “It went pretty well. It was a little different than states because you can record yours ahead of time so you weren’t presenting to a judge, but for my group it went really well.”