DECA members advance to state

By Alyssa Vallester

Three out of the 24 members of MTHS DECA who competed in Area two placed into state. The Area two competition was held at the Lynnwood Convention Center on Jan. 11.

The three members who placed were: Marissa Gilbraith, who took third place for Accounting Applications; Samantha Evensen, who took fifth place for Marketing Management; and Aidan Murray, who took third place for Business Services. They will compete for state on March 8, 9 and 10 in Bellevue, and potentially advance to the national competition.

DECA is a not-for-profit student organization with members from all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Its mission is to “prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.”

During the competition, participants picked from various marketing related categories, took a 100 question written test and did a role-play in front of judges. The two scores were combined, and the top five in each category qualified for state.

“At the Area 2 competition, there were over 600 participants who competed. Some of the high schools that participated were: Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds Woodway, Mukilteo, Kings, Everett, South Whidbey, Cascade, Jackson, and Lynnwood. We had 24 people compete. This was the first year of competition for all but six. For it being a brand new thing they’ve never done before, never had any experience before, I think they worked… I think they did a really good job. It’s hard to prepare for something you’ve never experienced before,” Mrs. Gilbraith said.

DECA is open to all students. Being in marketing or business classes would be beneficial but not prerequisites upon joining DECA.

“In DECA, they learn about business situations, customer service, professional communication, professional attire, and etiquette in the business world. They also have opportunities to apply for scholarships,” Mrs. Gilbraith said.

For other DECA members who didn’t qualify for state, there are other things in store for the rest of the school year. There are going to be guest speakers from the community, such as Nordstrom’s Dress for Success and possibly a visit from Rotary Club. Following these, the whole club is going to do some community service event before the year is up, according to Mrs. Gilbraith.

This year is Mrs. Gilbraith’s first year as advisor. “It’s been challenging keeping up with paperwork, but it’s also been fun and exciting. I think it will just get better as I learn the ropes, ‘cause I’ve never been to a competition [before], like many of the members. It’s easier to do things when you’re better prepared,” Mrs. Gilbraith said.

DECA is planning for its advocacy campaign this February to celebrate career and technical education (CTE) month.