Durango DECA Travels to Craig

Paxton Scott, Head Online Editor

Craig, CO – Thirty-four students from Durango High School DECA competed at the regional competition held at Northwest Community College. The students competed in topics ranging from Advertising to Hotel Management to qualify for the State competition held in Colorado Springs in February. Of the 34 members, 13 qualified for state through placing first in their respective event.

There are 250 students that compete at regionals while only roughly 70 move on to state in a role play.

“I would say that it was a great experience and cool to meet new people and gain business experience,” said So. Ben Bates, a first year DECA member.

Durango DECA has experience significant growth since its inception in 2013. The original three member club has increased in membership each year: 11 members in 2014, 31 members in 2015, 34 members in 2016. The continued popularity of club speaks volumes of DECA advisor Dave Dillman and its intra-curricular educational value.

“One of the reasons I became a teacher was to help young adults figure out the business world. DECA presents an opportunity to go one step further and apply learning in the real world,” said Dillman, the marketing teacher at DHS and DECA advisor.

The goal of DECA is to teach members important life skills that are ignored in high school curriculum. Job interviews are integral to securing high value jobs, yet they are rarely talked about in the traditional classroom setting.

“One of the most important skills taught be DECA is being able to communicate with your elders with your elders. The reality is that everybody is going to have bosses that are older than them when they first start out their career,” said Dillman.

In Craig, students competed in role plays which are real-world scenarios that can take the form of marketing presentations, promotional plans, or financial advice. Students had between 15-30 minutes to prep for the role play and than presented in 10-12 minutes.

Role plays serve the dual role of acting as a metric for judging while also allowing students to practice quick thinking and public speaking.

“I learned that you have to have self-confidence to accomplish things. A big part of DECA is learning how to speak confidently about marketing and business topics,” said Stella Walsh, a first-year member.

Walsh placed first in Principles of Business Management and Administration and will go on to compete at the state level.

In addition to educational, DECA includes numerous fun team bonding events. On the drive to Regionals, the chapter stopped in Grand Junction to break up the trip.

“Team bonding through roller blading was my definitely my favorite aspect of the trip,” said So. Logan Fullington, a second year DECA member.