MCSD Whiteboard: DECA students continue to break new ground

Moffat County School District
MCSD Whiteboard

The Moffat County High School DECA program continues to grow and thrive.

DECA, a nationwide business skills competition, gives students opportunities to learn how various industries operate, how to navigate and succeed in the business world, and skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Moffat County’s DECA team, led by adviser Krista Schenck, has set a new record for success, sending 20 students to February’s state competition after a rousing success at the district competition last week.

“I qualified for retail marketing,” said DECA team president Caroline Schenck. “We’ll go to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and will compete with students from districts across Colorado. We’ll do role play presentations, 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to present.”

In these presentations, competitors must solve a problem scenario given to them in front of judges. It’s a chance to build teamwork and skills of many kinds.

“You have to be quick, think on your feet,” Jonah Jenison said. “That’s a fun part of DECA role-plays.”

Categories are various, including industries like hospitality, restaurants, and sports and entertainment marketing, which happens to be Carson Laehr’s field of choice.

“We’re given a scenario for a business and have to come up with a solution to the business problem,” Laehr said.

Critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking — not to mention real-world economic principles — all are part of the process for a successful DECA competitor.

Twenty students is the most Krista Schenck has sent to the state competition in her many years of advising the program.

Problems to solve, she explained, could involve personnel shortages, unexpected demand, unhappy customers, unsuccessful product launches and much more.

“I think for me, it’s taught a lot of social skills,” Wyatt Tucker said. “Talking to people, public speaking, things I’ve never been great at, but this helps me get a lot more comfortable. I think anything you go into, you’re going to have to interact with people somehow. It helps a lot to have those skills.”

The interconnectivity of a local or global economy is also a part of what the students learn.

“My event is in restaurant management,” Alyssa LeWarne said. “It’s mostly solving problems. My last one was overhead costs for takeout orders. You try to solve a problem for the business, see how the business can make more money, or find more customers. I’ve had how this element affects hospitality, and how hospitality affects my business. You can really tell what makes people money and what draws people to certain businesses.”

The future businesses of Moffat County will be run by many of these students, and that means the future of this place is in their hands. It’s a special opportunity for them to get a jumpstart on learning the skills necessary to help their home thrive economically.

The state competition is Feb. 24-27 in Colorado Springs. The top five qualifiers from that event will attend nationals in Anaheim, California later this school year.

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