All 37 members of the St. Marys DECA program advanced to state this year and on Friday the students held their awards presentation to see the results — taking home a great deal of hardware at the end of the day.

Fourteen students in total placed in the top four at state, earning a spot to compete at the International Career Development Conference. 

Because of the pandemic, this year’s format was a bit different with students competing virtually. 

In a normal year, the state competition is held in Columbus and the international competition is held in different cities each year.

Last year it was supposed to be held in Nashville and this year’s destination was supposed to be Anaheim, California.

While the coronavirus forced the competition to go to a virtual format, Heidi Lisi, the program’s adviser, said she was impressed with their efforts, saying she feels they worked harder this year because of it.

“I'm super impressed with the amount of hard work they put into it, considering they knew going into this it was going to be virtual,” said Lisi. “They still worked as hard — if not harder — as they have every other year. I'm very impressed and I'm very happy with their results.”

Lily Steinberg, who placed third in Sales Project Management, said while she was disappointed that the group wouldn’t be traveling to the international competition, she was happy they were still able to compete.

“Among everybody in this chapter, the seniors were the only ones that got to go to state our sophomore year,” she said. “Even though none of us won, we liked the experience. So even though we didn't get to go our junior and senior year, it was still good to be able to get awards this year.”

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