By: Lauren Lim, Contributing Writer ‘23

In the usual fashion, IHHS DECA achieves great success at the DECA Regional Competition, even in another pandemic plagued school year. The competition was initially slated for January 11th, 2022, at Meadowlands Hilton in East Rutherford, but due to Omicron, the in-person competition was canceled. Test scores (instead of the usual test and in-person competition combined score) from December’s testing event were used as final scores to determine which members move on to the state competition. 

DECA, also known as Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a business-focused international organization that coordinates high-school and collegiate business competitions (centered around business role-plays and papers) to prepare rising leaders in the business industry. In past years, the IHHS DECA chapter has consistently sent many members to the state and international competition, and this year was no exception. Over 50 IHHS DECA members advanced to states, nearly half of the club. Top 13 finishers in each roleplay event move on to states. In addition, roughly half of those students placed in the top three of their respective roleplay events. Listed below are the Top-3 finalists from the Regionals:

  • Raini Saini/Jessica Strickland – 2nd Place BLTM
  • Thomas Wuensch -3rd BMS
  • Tara Flynn/Ryan LaDuca-1st Place BTDM
  • Andrew Simmers/Julianna Zelnhefer – 2nd Place FTDM
  • Jake Frederick – 1st Place FMS
  • Aayush Parekh – 3rd Place FMS
  • Jaden Mayer-Costa – 3rd Place HLM
  • Chloe Tirino – 3rd Place MCS
  • Lauren Lim – 3rd Place OSRM
  • Jack Shah/Nico Trocolar – 1st Place STDM
  • Katelyn Kulhawy/Colleen O’Dell – 2nd Place STDM
  • Allison Lounsbury/Jennifer Mason – 1st Place TTDM
  • Sam Bluze/Megan Folina – 2nd Place TTDM

When questioned about the competition, Co-President Valeri Guevarra expressed her gratitude to all the members of DECA and disappoint at the cancellation of the in-person regional competition:

“I’m so proud of the members who made it to States. It’s been a stressful few months with the pandemic still looming. I’m sad that the in-person competition had to be canceled. It was something that we were looking forward to returning to after a year of strictly virtual competitions. I’m looking forward to seeing IHHS DECA’s success at States, which is hopefully staying in-person.” 

Vice President of Competitive EventsRaina Sainialso added: 

“I’m extremely proud of our chapter for both our regional success and the hard work of all members. I’ve seen the enthusiasm of everyone during roleplay night and our competition prep workshops, so to see it pay off for a lot of members was great. It was a shame that the roleplay in-person portion of the competition was canceled.”

Even amidst another unusual school year, IHHS DECA’s passion and drive for success have remained strong. The members truly make IHHS proud with their dedication and hard work. On behalf of the IHHS community, congratulations to all that have advanced to states. It is an incredible feat, especially amidst the stresses of the pandemic. IHHS looks forward to hearing about the club’s success at the state competition, held at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, from February 28th to March 3th 2022.