DECA Students Shine

ST. MARYS — A group of high school students have the opportunity to head to Salt Lake City for the national portion of their competition after winning in Ohio.

There were 27 members of the St. Marys Memorial High School DECA — or Distributive Education Clubs of America — team who competed at the Ohio DECA Career Development Conference March 16-18 in Columbus.

Of those 27, the following students finished in the top 10: seniors Scott and Alexandria Spencer in Business Services Research; juniors Makayla Buehler and Chloe Mitchell in Buying and Merchandising Research; senior Ashleigh Falk and junior Molly Albert in Creative Marketing Project; juniors Luke Leffel and Tyler Rose in Sports Marketing Research; senior Ryan Douglas, senior Brooke Slife and junior Carolina Castillo in Community Service Project; junior Cory Steinbrunner in Principles of Marketing; senior Ryan Wilker, who received fourth place, in Marketing Management; senior Mitch Fowler in Business Finance; senior Taylor Grant, who received third place, in Professional Selling; junior Adam Neal, who received third place, in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism.

“They all received medals for finishing in the top 10,” adviser Heidi Lisi said. “The ones who placed third received the large trophies.”

The students’ events at state, Lisi noted, varied based on each topic.

“All the events are different,” she said. “For the team events, they had a written manual they prepared ahead of time. Most of the written projects are 20 to 30 pages, so they’re extensively detailed. Then, if they placed in the top 10, they presented their project with visual aides to a panel of judges.”

She also noted the individual events.

“All the singles, except Taylor Grant, they had to take a test on their event and then each of them were given two case study role plays. They had 10 minutes to analyze the case and come up with solutions and present their ideas to a panel of judges,” Lisi said.

For Grant’s Professional Selling event, he had to take a test and also role play.

“He had to take a test and then he was given a scenario — he had to assume the role as a software sales manager,” Lisi said. “He had to give a sales presentation based on a situation that he was selling to a company expanding into foreign markets. He created visual aides to go along with his sales presentation.”

Of the students who competed at state, Grant and Neal, will be heading to nationals, along with another group of their peers.

“There was one group who received national recognition for their School-Based Enterprise Project,” Lisi said. “Seniors Mitch Fowler, Ryan Wilker and Cierra Anderson will get to present their project at nationals for the chance to win a Top Presenter award.”

The nationals portion will be April 28 to May 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“For the School-Based Enterprise Project, this will be their first time competing in that,” Lisi said. “Everybody else will compete in what event they qualified in. It will be the same basis as what they did at state, but there will be more competition. At state, there’s usually about 2,500 competitors in all the events. At nationals, it’s about 20,000.”