Sixty Burnsville High School students who are members of DECA recently competed in the District 2 Conference with their written projects, presentations and role-plays.
Twenty-nine of the students have qualified for the State DECA Conference in March with nearly 20 of them placing in the top third in their section event and receiving trophies. Many of the students qualified in multiple events.
DECA is a leadership program that provides real-world experiences to prepare students for careers in finance, hospitality, marketing and management. Students in DECA-related classes, such as “Introduction to Business and Marketing” and “Advanced Marketing/DECA”, also have the opportunity to participate in competitive events that focus on demonstrating the skills they’ve learned.
“BHS students come to each event, looking and acting professional,” said Meggan Malone, business teacher. “They continue to impress me with their confidence and creativity.”
Malone brought the DECA program back to Burnsville High School in 2011, after 20 years of absence. Each year the DECA program has grown, and this year 75 students participated in the student organization.
Students have been working with local businesses such as Burger Jones, JoJo's Rise & Wine, Junior's Sports Cafe, Mozza Mia, and have partnered with the Burnsville Chamber for the past three years with the Bite of Burnsville event.
This year, DECA students helped pack food for BrainPower in a BackPack, a Burnsville High School service project that provides weekend food for elementary school students in need. Additionally, DECA partnered with the Randy Shaver Tackle Cancer Program to raise funds and awareness for cancer. The group was recently featured on KARE 11’s “What's Cool in Your School” segment and was awarded Minnesota DECA's first #Way2GoWednesday for its December DECA the Halls promotion at a local coffee shop.
This year students came in before and after school to practice role plays, work on their interview applications, review test questions, and get tips on their sales demonstration, said Malone.
“The more involved students become in the organization, the more likely they are to be successful at the competitive level,” she said. “Students are realizing it is important to join DECA as soon as they can, that the first year is all about learning and each year after, it is about improving.”
Students enrolled in the Advanced Marketing/DECA class have the opportunity to create a written project which increases their odds of qualifying for State. There will be a new class offered during the 2015-2016 school year called DECA Seminar and students will work on a large written project tying in the community, again increasing their chance to move to the next level of competition.