DECA competitors take on districts, individuals and teams qualify for state competition

courtesy of Jade Bolling
THRITY-EIGHT DECA students attend the district competition that included students from all over Virginia Beach. While some schools boasted a larger number of students, Falcons were able to hold their own.

The Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is a club that is organized through business classes, not only at the school, but around the country.  It seems that DECA has expanded ten-fold over the past few years, drawing in students from business classes who are interested in enhancing their entrepreneurship and marketing skills using a hands-on learning approach and who are interested in pursuing business after graduation.

DECA also offers students the opportunity to compete at the district level competition,  This year’s event was recently held at Virginia Wesleyan University where 38 members of the school’s DECA club competed against other schools in Virginia Beach, including Kempsville High School’s (KHS) new Entrepreneurship Academy. During the competition, students from across the city were able to dress up professionally and prepare to role play different real-world business scenarios.

“It was tough competition, with Kempsville’s new Entrepreneurship Academy students dominating in sheer number of students, but the Falcons did not disappoint. Our kids killed it though, bringing home 20 medals and a trophy for Most Spirited banner,” Bolling said. “Six of these exceptional Falcons individually qualified for the National Championship, where several other “form” teams from the school will compete as well.”

Bolling has continuously prepared her students since the start of the school year and she continues to encourage the club members as they advance for states at the end of February.

Students advancing to the state competition include seniors Shivani Patel, Brian Ramquist, Alex Ward, Steven Gershen, Ryan Lemmon, Sarissa Bryant, Ethan Frayne, Anandah Porter, Jack Padgett, Hunter Eppleman, Ashley McGrath, Makenzie Tanner, Robert Ruhl, and Tristen Richardson.

Along with Bolling, DECA president senior Stephen Gershen uses his dedication and passion for business to be a role model for younger students and to encourage them to follow their interest in business, entrepreneurship and marketing, to better themselves and their prospects after graduating from high school.

“Being a part of DECA is a thrilling experience that comes with excitement to participate and be successful at competitions and the club also teaches many life lessons. DECA definitely prepares students for future aspirations in the business world,” Gershen said.

The following are DECA members who took home a win for the Falcons:

Anandah Porter (Apparel & Accessories Marketing): Exam 3rd Place

Veeraj Ramen (Automotive Services Marketing): Exam 2nd Place

Steven Gershen (Business Services Marketing): Exam 2nd Place, Overall 2nd Place

Brian Ramquist (Entrepreneurship): Role Play 2nd Place, Overall 2nd Place

Robert Ruhl (Hotel & Lodging Management): Exam 2nd Place

Harry Ward (Human Resources Management): Exam 1st Place, Role Play 1st Place, Overall 1st Place

Ryan Lemmon (Principles of Finance): Exam 3rd Place, Role Play 3rd Place, Overall 2nd Place

Shivani Patel (Principles of Marketing): Exam 2nd Place, Role Play 1st Place, Overall 1st Place

Abbie Miller (Restaurant & Food Service Management): Exam 3rd Place

Ashley McGrath (Sports & Entertainment Marketing): Exam 1st Place

Sarissa Bryant (Sports & Entertainment Marketing): Role Play 3rd Place, Overall 2nd Place






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