Taking on States with State High DECA


Iris Li and Liz Orlova campaign for Li’s seat in DECA’s Executive Council. The campaign was a loud, fun-filled, and important event, one that paved the way to Li’s victory. “This wouldn’t be possible without the support from all the members, advisers, and current state officer team. I’m so grateful to be able to run, and even more appreciative for the chance to help guide our state association next year,” Li said.

Clarissa Theiss, Staff Writer

On the night of February 19th, 60 State High students piled into a Fullington bus with garment bags and suitcases cramming the storage areas. They were on their way to a three day trip of excitement, laughter, and business.

Last week, State High’s DECA club went to Hershey, PA to compete in the PA DECA States Competition. DECA is an international competition based club with over 215,000 members enrolled nationwide. DECA works to prepare future business leaders by focusing on the pillars of business: finance, marketing, business management, hospitality, and entrepreneurship. Members of DECA select one of these pillars and then a category to compete in. Students have an option to either compete with a partner or individually.

On the night of the 20th, students had 60 minutes to complete a 100 question multiple choice test with questions relating to ethics, law, emotional intelligence, mathematics, and much more. “The test was definitely the most difficult part of competing for me. I studied a ton before going [to States] and still didn’t feel completely confident with some of the material.” freshman Sami Fragin, who completed the Business Management test, said.  However, DECA students don’t just have to be armed with academic knowledge.

All throughout the 21st, teams and individuals completed role-plays, the second aspect of the competition. The competitors have a few minutes to plan a response to a hypothetical business dilemma. They then must present their solution to volunteer judges. The role play helps students practice public speaking, critical thinking, and decision-making skills in a real, competitive environment.

On Friday the 22nd, the PA DECA States competition came to a close with a loud, fun-filled, and intense closing ceremony. It was at these ceremonies that Iris Li, a junior, was elected into PA DECA’s Executive Council. On top of that, awards for each category of competition were announced. Freshman Ian Wagner, who, along with his partner, was a finalist in Marketing Management Team Decision Making said, “Getting ranked at States really meant a lot. We put a bunch of time into studying, practicing, and preparing, so it was awesome to see our efforts pay off.” The educational value of this trip doesn’t end at role-plays and written tests, however. Lectures and workshops were available to the students all throughout the trip, with topics spanning colleges, job interviews, and business dress wear.

“I loved learning more about business, the different careers offered in this field, and making new friends,” member Mia Iceland said. At its core, DECA is club that helps the future business leaders of the world prepare for their futures.