Photo by Brad Kennett
MARKET THIS—Seniors Lexi Gjoraas (left) and Erin Zahn show off their crystal clear awards on Sunday at the Washington Pavilion.

DECA students attend state career conference 
Team members advance to nationals in April

By Rachel Boer

Twenty-three WHS students attended the 2018 DECA State Career Development Conference Sunday at the University of Sioux Falls and Monday at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.  

At the conference, the students participated in workshops and role-play competitions.  Awards were given to the top two teams in each team event and the top three students in each individual event.

WHS winners in team events included seniors Lexi Gjoraas and Erin Zahn who took first place in the Travel and Tourism Team event, seniors Trahas Habtemariam and Abbie Lannen who took second place in the Marketing Management Team event and sophomores Meadow Scott and Kim Ueng who took second place in the Hospitality Services Team event.

Gjoraas said it was a good two days.

“I feel like this year’s DECA Conference was the best one I have been to yet,” Gjoraas said. “Having it at the Pavilion was amazing, and all the judges and speakers were awesome. It was an amazing feeling to be able to take home some of the first place DECA glass for WHS, and I’m proud of how well we did.” 

Individual event first place winners included Zahn in Hotel and Lodging Management, Gjoraas in Quick Serve Restaurant Management, Lannen in Sports and Entertainment Marketing and junior Giday Shega in Leadership.

Second place winners included Shega in Apparel and Accessories, Lannen in Job Interview and senior Jada Moore in Marketing Communications.

Third place winners included sophomore Kaela Wierenga in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, sophomore Haroni Sahilu in Principles of Marketing, junior Emma Scott in Apparel and Accessories, sophomore Brayden Hagen in Business Finance and senior Shaylynn Peterson in Sports and Entertainment Marketing.

DECA adviser Brad Kennett said he was pleased with the event.

“I was very impressed by our students’ performances,” Kennett said. “We had 13 students who received awards and many others who received great scores and positive feedback from the judges. Competing and receiving awards makes it fun, but the experiences and information that the students were able to take away from the conference will help them throughout their professional careers.”

Winners from the state conference will now advance to compete at the DECA International Career and Development Conference April 21-24 in Atlanta, Ga.


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