7 first-place finishes, 11 top-three performances highlight day

Gilbert’s business and marketing club put together a strong showing at DECA districts, which was held at Gilbert High School last Saturday.

How strong? Try seven first-place finishes and 11 total top-three performances.

Well done, students. Very well done, actually.

So what is DECA? It’s the Distributive Education Clubs of America, and it gives students an up-close look at business and entrepreneurship as they begin to eye the future.

DECA prepares students to be academically prepared, community oriented, and professionally responsible, and it allows them the chance to be leaders.

“No matter what you’re interested in doing in your future, the skills you get from DECA are going to be invaluable,” Vicki Hales, a business teacher at the high school, said. “Learning how to talk to somebody professionally, learning how to think on your feet and problem solve, and be creative, all of those skills are really what employers are looking for. That’s going to help them no matter what industry they go into.”

Districts was the first chance students had to get a feel for the competition. In each of the business scenarios, students were presented with a problem or need in their fields, and then they had 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes with the judges to discuss the issue.

Gilbert’s seven first-place finishes went to:
•Clair Lewis: Apparels and Accessories Marketing.
•John Hales: Food Marketing.
•Lizzie Mitchell: Hotel and Lodging Management.
•Macy Underwood: Human Resource Management.
•Abby Greder: Restaurant and Food Service Management.
•Charlie Schreck and Noah Lenz: Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team.
•Ella Henningsen and Abigail Thompson: Travel and Tourism Team.

Earning second-place nods were:
•Hannah Becker: Food Marketing.
•Joey Currans and Nash Hanson: Entrepreneurship Team.

Gilbert students placing third were:
•Owen Kautman: Hotel and Lodging Management.
•Elle Nguyen: Restaurant and Food Service Management.

The 15 Gilbert students that competed at districts, as well as many more of the 44 members of the school’s business and marketing club will compete at the state competition in February. At state, students will get the chance to qualify for the international competition, which will be held in Orlando in April.