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South DECA shines at conference

POSTED: May 20, 2013 4:30 p.m.

South Forsyth High School’s DECA students recently returned from Anaheim, Calif., after earning several top-10 finishes at the annual International Career Development Conference.

“I was thrilled to be named a finalist,” said Elizabeth Heard, a sophomore. “It’s amazing to know that months of hard work ... paid off.”

The competition also welcomed students from Lambert and West Forsyth high schools. While both performed well, including a sixth-place finish from Lambert, South managed six top-10 finishes and a finalist.

South boasts the largest DECA chapter in the world, with more than 1,000 members. The school took 88 students, most of whom finished in the top 20 percent, to the competition.

In addition to the high rankings, South’s Ashlyn Williams and Lauren Calvert secured national DECA scholarships.

The competition events, which range from finance to marketing, are designed to give students real-life business scenarios.

Among the categories were: advertising campaign development; marketing research projects; sports and entertainment team decision making; and principles of hospitality and tourism.

“It felt so great to be able to represent my school at the International DECA conference,” said Ashley Suk, a ninth-grader. “I can’t believe that I went from a scared freshman at the regional competition to a top 10 international finalist.”

DECA adviser Katie Pniewski said the students began their preparations in November.

“I am so proud of all of our winners,” Pniewski said. “Winning at the international level gives students the confidence to further their marketing education and mentor other students.”


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