By Mary Waggoner, Everett Public Schools Director of Communications.
H.M. Jackson DECA chapter members earned the organization’s highest honors at DECA’s 67th annual International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California, April 24-27, 2013.
Breanna Fee and Chase Weholt, took first place at the National DECA conference. Of 212 school-based enterprise manuals that were submitted for the 2013 certification review, Fee’s and Weholt’s project and presentation placed first in the nation.
“This is quite an accomplishment for H.M. Jackson High School. I believe it’s the first time in Everett school district history for a first place showing!” said advisor, George Brush. “Jackson’s last recognition was for third place in 2001.”
Caitlin White also made the district proud by being one of the top 20 finalists in the Food Marketing category.
“All the presentations were done in private, so Brea and I had no inclination to the quality of our project in comparison to other teams,” said Weholt.
“We felt confident in the work we did, but did not know what to expect from the judges. It wasn't until the Grand Awards Ceremony, when the trophy was given, that we learned of our success. DECA's International competition brings the next generation of business leaders to one location, and I'm incredibly honored to have met and competed with such notable students.”
School-based enterprises help prepare students for the transition from school to work or college. For many students, they provide the first work experience; for others, they provide an opportunity to build management, supervision and leadership skills. While some in the education community have only recently discovered the value of school-based enterprises, marketing educators and DECA advisors have used them as a powerful teaching tool for more than four decades.
The opening session featured PostNet CEO and Undercover Boss guest star Steve Greenbaum. In addition to career-based competition, DECA members engaged in leadership academies and networking opportunities with over 60 internationally recognized businesses.
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition.