DECA students shine at conference

Marketing CTE teacher and advisor of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Michelle Stephens took 43 students to compete in business events with other students in the Bay Area from Jan. 17 – 19 at the Marriott Hotel in San Ramon. CVHS students earned three first-place finishes and 80 top ten finishes at the annual NorCal conference in three categories. 

Students competed to earn a good score on either their multiple choice individual tests, role plays, or written reports among about 800 other DECA members to become finalists and get on stage at the award ceremony held on the last day of the convention. 

On the first day, before CVHS DECA students got to settle down, they took their individual tests based on the event they chose in a large room along with other students. Junior Oliver Zhang and senior Enrico Giovannoni won first place in their categories. 

Competition was thick in the air as students began their role plays the next day, which are case studies in which students present meaningful solutions to their judges. A handful of CVHS students were placed in the top ten with Zhang and senior Seena Nasser taking first place in their categories.

“Castro Valley really was well represented in the Northern California Conference,” said Stephens.

Once role plays were completed, it was time for the presentations of written reports, which are business plans up to 30 pages in length. Students have only a quick 15 minutes to present their business plans, and hopefully leave a lasting impression on their judges. Numerous CVHS DECA members also placed top 10, with Zhang and Nasser taking first place in their categories.

“It was really rewarding that my hard work paid off, but also really nerve-wracking. I was not expecting my name to be called,” said Nasser.

With the thrill and craving of competition, CVHS DECA participants are ready to take on the state conference on Feb. 28 – March 2 in Santa Clara, where they will get stronger and even better as they aim to place  in the top three in order to qualify for Internationals in Nashville, Tennessee. With their positive and competitive attitudes, CVHS DECA participants are ready and excited for the next competition.

“We’re all excited to succeed again at states. We’ve been doing a lot of preparation to build off our success at NorCal, so we can once again be successful and hopefully qualify for the international competition,” said Zhang.

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