DECA Dominates State


Once again, we are excited to announce another fantastic DECA performance. These students have done a phenomenal job of putting their hearts into what they do, and their hard work has certainly paid off. On February 21st-23rd, DECA took on their state competition, and are proud to announce that they will be sending 19 members to Nashville for nationals, this spring.


Tremendous amounts of time and preparation goes into each competition, which is a given for how well they always end up performing. To prepare for each competition, the members will do role play and case study practices and take practice tests.


Debbie Moore, the DECA advisor, mentioned that they use a program called “Competition University” that allows them to answer questions similar to scenarios they will be exposed to in competition. Another way the students will prepare for their case studies is by participating in community service and different networking events, since a lot of those skills will be necessary in competition.


Moore stated that it is good for the members to obtain the practice of the utilization of different skills because they are not aware of what their case studies will be until they arrive at the competition. By being exposed to hundreds of different skills, techniques, and situations, the students will be better equipped for handling their cases. The members also indulge in a lot of public speaking. Everything members of DECA do factor right into their preparation for their events.


This year, DECA was able to send 53 students to the State Conference, which took place at the Arizona Grand Hotel. The competitions consisted of both individual and team case studies. Individual competitors are given 10 minutes to read their case study and devise a proposal for solving it. In a team setting, groups are given 30 minutes to analyze their cases and prepare solutions since they are more in depth. After time has run out in both settings, the competitors will present their solutions before judges.


DECA also participated in a 30-page written event. The students wrote their paper on the Student Store, covering a variety of topics from finances, to top seller, to pricing strategies, and more. Another amazing thing they did was become recertified in the gold level, which will allow the students to compete for the Ridge Student Store.


DECA brought home some extraordinary news from State. Again, they will have 19 members going to internationals this spring, but they also have 6 state champions, 5 runners up, 18 elite students honored, and earned lots of awards for Chapter One. The conference brought in 80 schools from all over Arizona, and Ridge placed very impressively in comparison.


Moore said that because all the participants did so well, each and every one of them stood out phenomenally. Some honorable mentions she would like to recognize are president Frank Pauls. Moore stated that he has done a wonderful job over the course of 2 years. She would also like to recognize former State Officer, Catherine Horton and her twin sister Bethany Horton for their amazing performance in a paper and role play case study. Together, they ended up placing both first and second, scoring twice. Another is Liam Nelson, who was just voted in as a State Officer, and began his reign last week. Ridge is proud to be sending a 5th State Officer in a row. In order to become an officer, students must go through a panel interview and take a test. This then turns into launching a campaign and getting the delegates to vote for them. The voting system runs very similarly to the presidential elections in the sense that delegates are chosen based on the popular vote. Nelson had to give 2 speeches at State before being elected. One speech was in front of the delegates, and the other was in front of anyone who would like to listen in; voting delegates and others. Later, the speech is uploaded online, so anyone can see it.


Other than the competition, DECA also got to participate in various workshops and activities. When members aren’t busy on the last day of the competition, there is an event called Downtown DECA, in which students can go out and do activities, go to different booths, and do mini competitions. Members also got to help Moore at Nelson’s booth in promoting his campaign. Because the conference was at the Arizona Grand Hotel this year, members also had the opportunity to swim at the water park (unfortunately it was pouring rain, but they still had fun).


DECA will head off to nationals in Nashville on April 28th-May 2nd with their 19 qualifiers. All 50 states, Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, and other U.S. territories will be competing, bringing in 20,000 people. Moore stated that the stakes are very high for this competition and that advancing can be very difficult. However, her hopes are high for this group. The competition is called the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). Winners will advance to the finals and will have the opportunity to be the grand champions and win various scholarships.


Overall, Moore stated that the best part of the whole experience was getting a chance to compete and seeing all her students do well. Ridge is extremely proud of its DECA chapter, and the future continues to look extraordinarily bright for them. Stay tuned over the next few months for more DECA updates.