Whitewater High students to represent Fayette at International DECA Competition

Whitewater High School’s DECA students show off their awards from the DECA State Career Development Conference. All of them will compete at the international conference in April. (L-R) Row 1: Mason Forsyth, Ella Hall, Anthony VanHeyningen, Devin DeCicco, and Elijah Bates. Row 2: Christina Whitehead (holding certificate), Emma Baus, Anna Rzepkowski, Pritica Patel, and Ronit Patel. Row 3: Ryan Golubeff, Cole Hayne, Mason Rzepkowski, Barrett Conner,  and Kylee Bennett. Not pictured is Edward Huang.

DECA students from Whitewater High School demonstrated their career knowledge and skills at the DECA State Career Development Conference, with 15 of them advancing to the International Career Development Conference in April.

These students earned their place at the international conference by taking top placements in their events at the state conference in February. Over 2,400 students from across Georgia competed.

Students advancing to the international competition are Cole Hayne, second place, Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling; Ella Hall, second place, Start-Up Business Plan; Mason Forsyth, second place, Restaurant and Food Service Management; Devin DeCicco and Elijah Bates, second place, Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making; Emma Baus, third place, Professional Selling; Anthony VanHeyningen, third place, Financial Consulting; Ronit Patel, fourth place, Financial Consulting; Kylee Bennett, fifth place, Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling; Ryan Golufeff, fifth place, Automotive Services Marketing; Kayla Williams, fifth place, Retail Merchandising; Mason Rzepkowski, sixth place, Marketing Communications; Anna Rzepkowski, sixth place, Food Marketing; Edward Huang, seventh place, Business Finance; Pritica Patel, seventh place, Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling; and Barrett Conner, seventh place, Principles of Finance. The team is coached by Karen Stoll.

The competitive process is rigorous. Students are evaluated on both a written component such as an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional serving as a judge.

In addition to the students advancing to the international conference, DECA member Christina Whitehead was awarded one of two $1,000 scholarships from the American Marketing Association.

Also, the school’s Student Based Enterprise (SBE), Cats Corner, earned a Gold Re-Certification. To become DECA certified, students reflect upon their work in the SBE through documentation of 10 key business standards and performance indicators from the Business Administration Core, the Marketing Career Cluster, and the Merchandising Pathway of National Curriculum Standards. Earning a Gold Certification qualifies students to participate in the exclusive SBE Academy and Competition held annually at DECA’s International Career Development Conference.

The DECA International Career Development Conference will take place in Nashville, Tennessee April 29-May 2. More than 10,000 finalists from chartered associations throughout the world are expected to compete at the international event, all in the hopes of being named an international champion.

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. As an integral part of the classroom curriculum, DECA’s industry-validated competitive events are aligned with the National Curriculum Standards and directly contribute to every student being college and career ready when they graduate from high school.