On Tuesday, Feb. 10, students of FHN’s DECA got the chance to experience real world business, but it wasn’t all just for the experience – they were there to win. At 7 a.m. a bus full of young business leaders headed to The Mills Mall where they were to compete in districts.
The competition is an annual event that many DECA students each year spend numerous hours preparing for. They have spent the past month practicing role playing and studying as many tests as they could.
“It really helped us that so many of our DECA members prepared a lot,” DECA president Alyssa Fixley said. “Our sponsors have helped us and really everyone wanted to be there this year and I think that made a difference.”
Once the students arrived to at the mall with the other 12 district-six schools they would be competing against, they headed to either a conference room for team competitors or the food court for individual competitors. Once they were split into their large groups, both took the test that many have been studying for for a month. The test was 100 questions and students had 60 minutes to complete it. After the test it was time for role plays. Each student was given a time to meet in a vacant store. Team role players were given their business situations and had 30 minutes to prepare, while individuals performed two role plays and were given 10 minutes to prepare. Students could use notes they took while preparing during their role play and were judged based on their knowledge and performance.
“I was really surprised because I was really nervous during my role play and I did way better than I thought I would,” senior Katie Stock said. “A lot of people there seemed more prepared than I was even though I studied all night.”
Once students completed their role plays they had free time in the mall until awards at 3:30. The top six competitors in individual events and top three in team events were announced. There were numerous events at the competition that tested numerous business categories such as advertisement or accounting. Team event qualifiers for North were Alyssa Fixley and Lauren Cooke, Lauren Deckard and Sarah Henke, Caleb Krenning and Kevin Fitzgerald, Kevin Taylor and Connor Usry, Kevin Bonney and Anita Burlison, and Luke Griesenauer and Eric Stanowski. Individual event qualifiers were Kacey Shoemake, Nicole Hume, Taylor Rockwell, Katie Stock, Zach Bruno, Justin Evans, Izzy Boyer, Lou Tzerov, Crystal Friedman, Jessica Steuken, Steve Millikan, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Zach Schollar, Taylor Wilson, Zach Short, and Lauren Reiche.
“I’ve never been to something this big and just the fact that I made it makes it a big deal, Stock said. “Plus, I’m a lot more confident now. The group of people will be really fun.”
All 28 of those from North that qualified for State will head to their next event at the Lake of the Ozarks right after spring break, March 23-24. If they make it past State, the next stop is Anaheim, California where Nationals will be held.
“You know people are their for DECA,” Stock said. “They want to win.”