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Students excel at regional contests
Stake claim as 'DECA country'
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Forsyth County News

Students from all five of Forsyth County’s public high schools took many of the top awards during two recent regional DECA marketing club competitions.

West Forsyth and Lambert high schools played host to the separate contests last week, each of which drew hundreds of students from Forsyth and other northeast Georgia counties.

Michelle Urrea, one of Lambert’s DECA sponsor teachers, said she and other DECA advisers were proud of all the local students who participated.

“We’re really proud of the kids, even those who didn’t place,” she said. “This year was just phenomenal … everything was high, there wasn’t anybody there who shouldn’t have been there.

“Everybody prepared to the best of their ability and competition was tough.”

David Rooney, a DECA adviser at West, wasn’t surprised that Forsyth students fared well in the competitions since the organization is so popular, with hundreds of students participating systemwide.

“It’s DECA country, it really is,” he joked.

Forsyth’s public high schools are split into two DECA regions. North and West are in one, while Forsyth Central, South and Lambert are in another.

“It was lots of fun and the kids had a lot of great feedback from the judges,” said Urrea of Lambert’s competition, which was held Jan. 24 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

“Thank you to everybody in the community who came out to judge and make our event successful.”

At regional events, DECA students compete in a range of business-related categories, including: human resources management; hotel and lodging; retail merchandising; sports and entertainment marketing; and food service.

Students who finish in the top three of a category get to move on to state competition, which will be held Feb. 28-March 2 in Atlanta.

Students who place in the top six in each event at state will advance to the international competition, which is set for April 23-28 in Anaheim, Calif.

Urrea said of Lambert’s 32 competitors at the regional event, 18 made it to state. Twenty-one of South’s 37 competitors will move on, while nine of 15 from Forsyth Central advanced.

Rooney said West’s event, which was held on the night of Jan. 24, also saw a strong showing from Forsyth students.

“[West] had a total of 43 people compete and 35 made it through,” he said. “North Forsyth had 14 participate and they had 12 make it through.”

Both competitions drew on the business community, with about 80 professionals serving as judges.

“The community’s the one with the business experience and to have them so impressed with what the students are doing and to give them feedback on how they can improve is huge,” Rooney said.