DECA In-House Conference


photo courtesy of DECA adviser Alicia Halker

Three DECA competitors from last year at a conference

Audrey Sheehy, print editor-in-chief

On Saturday Dec. 5, Edina DECA will be holding an in-house conference for students to practice their competitions before they go on to compete against other high schools – including Minnetonka and Moundsview – in the District competition in January.

DECA is a combined business class and club at Edina High School. Students take the classes DECA I and DECA II which focus on business marketing, and have the opportunity to compete in business competitions. The Edina program participates in two main events: role plays (which are on the spot presentations about different businesses) and written events (which are pre-written business plans and presentations).

Edina DECA has grown to be a successful program over the years. In 2015, the group took first place in the Sports and Entertainment Promotional Plan, third place in Advertising Campaign, third in the Business Services Individual Role Play Series, and ninth place in Marketing Communications Team Role Play Series.

The in-house DECA conference – also known as the Sherwood Invitational – will be helping first year DECA I students prepare for real situation role play competition.

DECA officer and event coordinator, senior Jack Sherwood, started planning the event over a month ago. “I thought it would be a great experience for the first year DECA competitors. [When I was] sophomore, the officers put on a similar event… and it really helped me prepare for the DECA competitions,” said Sherwood. “I’m looking forward to a successful first ‘Sherwood Invitational,’ but I would be remiss if I didn’t give a big thank you to the other officers and the DECA teachers for helping me coordinate.”

The event will be set up exactly like the District Competition. Students will come in to take a marketing exam that is one third of their score. They will then report to their section for their scheduled role play time, where they will get preparation time and presentation time (this is two thirds of their score). The five DECA officers will be judges along with some experienced DECA II students.

After the competitions, students will stay for a catered lunch and award ceremony. The top two students from each section will win awards, as will the best “professionally dressed” boy and girl. Adult judges from past competitions will also be coming in to speak about what they look for when they grade.

Sherwood hopes the in-house conference will become an annual event.  “I want to start to pass the torch off to the younger DECA students to help make sure they are ready to continue to keep Edina DECA status as one of the top DECA chapters in the nation,” said Sherwood.