By: Erin Holly McDermott, Editorial Staff ‘23

For another year, DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) has gone to the state conference and returned as champions. DECA is a business and career-based club at Indian Hills, where members are tasked with competitions to prepare to be the next generation of leaders in finance, business, management, and hospitality. This year’s competition was held virtually, and while this offered another challenge for the competitors, Indian Hills DECA was successful. 

Some noteworthy finalists, who will be advancing to the International Career Development Conference Conference include: 

  • Cayla Coleburn (First Place in Business Service Marketing) 
  • Emily Bonini (First Place in the Chapter Activities Project)
  • Marra Finkelstein (Sixth Place Entrepreneurship – Start Up Business Plan)
  • Tara Flynn and Ryan DeLuca (Sixth Place Project Management Community Awareness Project)
  • Jake Fredrick (Fifth Place in Food Marketing Series)
  • Mollie Good and Valeri Guevarra (Fifth Place in Entrepreneurship – Independent Business Plan)
  • Sydney Gitlitz and Juliana Ospina (Sixth Place Hospitality Services Management)
  • Allison Lounsbury and Jennifer Mason (Sixth Place Travel & Tourism Marketing_
  • Evan Novelli (Second Place in Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling)
  • Andrew Simmers and Julianna Zelnhefer (Sixth Place Marketing Management)

On top of all these impressive feats, Indian Hills’ very own Ellen Kim was elected as the NJ DECA Recording Secretary for the entire state of NJ for the 2021-2022 school year. 

These are all huge accomplishments for our school’s DECA chapter, especially amidst the pandemic. DECA members at Indian Hills have shown their ability to adapt to developing regulations and situations, and it is beyond impressive. According to DECA’s Vice President, Ellen Kim: 

“Overall, this year at virtual states have been drastically different however its fundamental experiences remained memorable. I was proud -but not surprised- to see our chapter do so well and grateful our officer board has worked so hard to ensure members’ success! Great job to everyone who competed!” 

The IHHS DECA President, Cayla Coleburn also added:

“ With states being completely virtual this year, the competition definitely posed a new set of challenging circumstances that I’m so happy our chapter was able to not just overcome but also thrive under. The entire officer board, especially our competitive event vice presidents, did an incredible job preparing our chapter for the changes, which included recorded role-plays and newly open-note exams. I am so proud of them, all our ICDC qualifiers, and our entire chapter!”

A big congratulations to all that competed this year in the DECA’s state-wide competition. These members continue to make school administration and students proud with their hard work and dedication to the expansion of education. We all are sure that DECA will continue to thrive in the next year’s competitions.