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Fossil students excel at state DECA competition

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Photo Credit: Kimberly Devenny

From February 25-28, Fossil Ridge High School students competed at the state competition for Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. 45 students spanning all grade levels qualified for the national competition, which will be held in Anaheim, California between April 26-29.

Jessica Yang, freshman, and Ella Devenny, junior, both qualified for the national competition. They explained that the DECA organization is designed to improve critical thinking and public speaking in high school students, and allows them to compete against students from various schools. Each participant has a role play event or a project that is presented before a panel of judges. In role play events, students have ten minutes of prep time to prepare a presentation, which could be about any topic within the event’s category.

Yang, for example, competed in Principles of Finance. Most of her role plays throughout competition season were similar to real life interviews, and were about topics from finance to customer service. She explained, “I was challenged to think of creative ideas and present them effectively to the judges, which are skills I will definitely use in the future.” At state, she found that she grew closer with a lot of people she hadn’t met before.

Camille Giles, junior, qualified for state in Human Resources Management and Business Services Operations Research. She will compete in the latter at Nationals, and said that, “I am so impressed in Fossil’s performance, not only compared to our expectations but also compared to the schools we were competing against.” Her favorite part of DECA is the people and the feelings that she’s surrounded with at competition, and especially the moment when a project that she’s spent a lot of time and energy on makes it to the stage..

All the participants cited similar skills that they’ve learn through their time with DECA. For Giles, the confidence that she’s gained has been vital. Yang has, “learned how to be a better leader, how to better communicate my ideas with others, and how to adapt to [my] environment.”

Here’s the complete list of students who qualified for Nationals:

1st Place Business Franchise – Ben Rugh, Katie Hinz, Erinn Hogan

1st Place Hospitality Services – Nic Lin and Neil Rowen

2nd Place Hospitality Services – Cammie Fowler and Preston Friehauf

2nd Place Creative Marketing – Ryan Cronin, Nick Edridge, Sydney Moore

2nd Place Learn and Earn – Spencer Evans, Katherine Laine, Cammie Fowler

2nd Place Hospitality Operations Research – Brecken Schafer, Ella Devenny, and Riley Hurley

3rd Place Restaurant and Food Management – Lindsey Swanson

3rd Place Principles of Finance – Jessica Yang

3rd Place Business Franchise – Caleb Seminair, Giana DeLeone, and Stephan DeLeone

4th Place Public Relations – Dayton Williams, Preston Friehauf and Will Beard

4th Place Business Operations Research – Camille Giles, Lauren Elliot, and Rachel Boyle

4th Place Community Service – Erica Lewis, Lindsey Swanson, and Lisa Landwehr

4th Place Marketing Communications – Sydney Moore

4th Place Principles of Marketing – Grady Forsyth

5th Place Community Service – Ben Walker, Owen Arkin, and Conor Medina

5th Place Independent Business Plan – Jack Hastings and Cam Lampe

5th Place Financial Literacy Promotion – Dillon Muth, Chase Mason, Alex Price

5th Place Financial Services Team – Jaret Anderson and Anthony Petrino

5th Place Marketing Management – Katie Hinz and Ben Rugh

School Based Enterprise – Stephanie Swanson

Photo Credit: Kimberly Devenny

About the Writer
Isabella Mahal, Copy Editor
Isabella Mahal: journalist, academic beat leader, activist for what she believes in. Whether it’s defending women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, or freedom of speech, Mahal isn’t afraid to fight for what she finds just. She has been involved in journalism since her freshman year, but she didn’t know until a couple months into the class that...
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Fossil students excel at state DECA competition