Craig hosts DECA district conference

Lauren Blair
Christopher Blevins
Lauren Blair

— Colorado Northwestern Community College was teeming Monday with teenagers in suits, ties and pant suits who were dressing the part for the DECA district conference.

Four schools from western Colorado — including Moffat County High School, Durango High School, Glenwood Springs High School and Western Colorado Community College — competed in the event, spearheaded by DECA advisor and Moffat County High School business teacher Krista Schenck.

“I think the reason I like this competition is it just incorporates everything they learn,” Schenck said. “It’s a lot more than just vocabulary. It gives them an opportunity to show the end result. And now our community gets to see what our kids look like all dressed up.”

DECA gives students practice with real-world business and job skills, with a focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

About 110 students competed in a variety of individual roleplay and team events for 35 qualifying spots in the state competition, to be held Feb. 28 to March 1 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. MCHS students Kamron Ludgate qualified for state in Quick Service Restaurant and Ashley Suits in Accounting.

The event also drew heavily on the Craig business community, as Schenck had to enlist about 35 judges from local businesses to rate students on their performance in role play events such as restaurant and food service management or sports and entertainment management.

For students, DECA offers skills and experience that can be directly applied to life after high school or college.

“I’m getting a lot of experience out of it, because I’m trying to find a job right now, so it’s helping me learn how to speak and to dress,” said MCHS senior Randa Reed, who competed in the hotel and lodging event and would like to work in the hospitality industry. “I like being able to meet new people.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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