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DECA students succeed at state, six move on to nationals

Thirty-one Burnsville High School students competed at the 2017 Minnesota DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC) on March 19-21 at the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency. This year's theme for the SCDC was "Own Your Future."


DECA students are all smiles at the DECA State Career Development Conference.

There were 2,000 participants in the competition. From Burnsville, fourteen students qualified for finals (top 12-15), five groups ranked in the top eight and three students took the podium and ranked first through fourth place.

Additionally, there were six students who qualified for Nationals (ICDC) in Anaheim, Calif. The following  students will be attending and competing at ICDC:

  • Ben Milhaupt (second place - unable to attend ICDC)
  • Blake Robinson (third place)
  • Elizabeth McCormick (fourth place)
  • Tyrese Leverty (fifth place)
  • Zach McGovern (fifth place)
  • Brianna Kirk (sixth place)

Other DECA participants who were successful in competition but did not place high enough in their category to attend ICDC include:

  • Callie Gudmonson, Joseph Koski and Ally Saba - Community Service Project (fifth place)
  • Cullen Kittams, Zach McGovern and Blake Robinson - Creative Marketing Plan (11th place)
  • Erika Torralba (seventh place)
  • Andrea Delius and Sonali Mucherla (12th place)
  • Kiera Wilson (ninth place)

"This year's group of DECA students at State were focused on competition,” said DECA advisor and business education teacher Meggan Malone. “They had positive attitudes, were strong leaders and did an amazing job representing Burnsville. It was so much fun working with these students!"

The students weren’t the only ones to come away with hardware. Malone received the “Rookie of the Year" award at the competition, which is given to newer DECA advisors who are actively involved in promoting marketing education through the development of a quality program. This includes involving professionals and community organizations.

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 continues to develop their partnerships with local businesses, such as Burger Jones, Firefly Credit Union Community Cares, JoJo's Rise & Wine and others.

DECA enhances students' preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, applying learning in the context of business, connecting to business and the community, and promoting competition. Student members leverage their DECA experience to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders.