More than 1,650 high school marketing students and their teachers gathered for the 63rd annual Missouri DECA State Career Development Conference (March 13-15) at the Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark. The conference is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. California High School was represented with 10 students and Advisor Julia Potter in attendance.
Winners William Inglish and Noel Sandoval will advance to the international DECA competition that will be held April 29-May 4 in Orlando, Fla.
DECA is an international association of high school students studying marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Missouri DECA ranks sixth in the nation in membership with more than 9,100 members. There are 178 DECA chapters across the state. "High school students taking courses in marketing, business and entrepreneurship apply what they have learned at the DECA conference," said Gayla Westergaard, state advisor for DECA. "This competition provides a great opportunity for students to gain realistic, career-oriented experiences that will help them perform and excel in higher education and their future careers."
During the statewide conference DECA members were evaluated by more than 100 business and industry professionals who serve as competitive event judges. Students participating in the competitions solve realistic workplace problems through one-on-one interaction with an executive or community member. Students may participate in individual or team events, business operations research projects, leadership academies and entrepreneurship projects. Event criteria are aligned with national curriculum standards.