Catherine Horton: DECA State Oficer

Catherine Horton: DECA State Oficer

Paula Bondeson

Catherine Horton, Mountain Ridge Junior, has just   elected as a DECA State Officer for next year. In the coming year, Horton will go on to lead both our school and community through community service projects and her knowledge of business, marketing, and hospitality.


She was inspired to become a DECA State Officer when she heard last year’s State Officers speak at the Career Development Conference.


Catherine Horton shared that from the moment she got involved in DECA, she knew she had a passion for it. Her favorite part of DECA is meeting all of the people involved in the club. It’s a huge organization so there are constantly new people to talk to.


“I am completely overwhelmed in the best way possible,” Horton said. “My campaign was Horton has heart, and my heart was all in it and my heart is just so happy that I was able to secure this position.”


Earning the position of DECA State Officer is a huge accomplishment. In the coming year, Horton will have plenty of opportunities to impact our school positively.


“My biggest goal to accomplish is to connect our corporate partners of Arizona DECA and our chapters,” Horton said.


She plans to have organizations like the Marriott, Diamondbacks, and Suns come talk to next year’s DECA chapter about topics like hospitality and sports marketing. Her goal is to get them more involved so students can get exposed to all they have to offer.


Horton is excited to see what the coming year brings for DECA. She is ready to do whatever she can to make DECA a great organization to be a part of. Her position as a DECA State Officer will give her the ability to really improve DECA as a whole.


To qualify for the position of DECA state officer, candidates must carry at least a 3.0 G.P.A., complete an application, and take place in the interview process. According to Horton, the application wasn’t too difficult but the interview was “very rigorous.”


“It is both an interview and a test. We interviewed with our board of directors of Arizona DECA, then with the past state officers about what we want to do for DECA and what we have to offer, and the test was just history of DECA.


“It was super nerve racking. You walk into a room packed with adults and they just start rapid fire with questions and you just have to hope you have the right answers for them,” Horton said.


Horton is following in the footsteps of current DECA State Officer Aditi Galande, who spent her senior year as State Officer. Horton, like Galande, knows she will miss quite a bit of school, but she is a strong student who has big plans she will be working on for DECA.


“My biggest goal to accomplish is to connect our corporate partners of Arizona DECA and our chapters. So right now we have State Officer visits where a State Officer can visit your classroom or your chapter meeting and I want to incorporate that into our corporate brands. So Marriott is a partner of Arizona DECA and we can have them come talk to schools or chapters who are really into hospitality or same with sports marketing with the Diamondbacks and the Suns, so really just bring those together.”


Horton draws her motivation and interest in DECA from Mrs. Moore, DECA adviser, and her mom.


“Mrs. Moore, my advisor, and then my mom, who was a former DECA member, really encouraged me just because they knew that if this was something I really wanted to do I could for sure get it and accomplish that goal. They were just super motivational helping me get all my campaign stuff ordered, my speeches written, just getting the whole package done,” Horton said.