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MENOMONIE — University of Wisconsin-Stout hosted the DECA District 1 Career Development Conference in January for the 49th straight year, and for the first time it was held virtually.
After a one-year hiatus, the Glenwood City DECA returned this school year and had five members participate in the District 1 competition which consisted of a role play and a written test.
All five of Glenwood City’s DECA members will be moving on to the state competition while four received medals in the District 1 meet hosted virtually by Stout.
Haidyn Walz was the top local finisher as she received a medal and trophy after taking second for her role play and overall performance in Apparel and Accessories Marketing.
Makenzi Anderson received the top Role Play score among the Glenwood City competitors, but her event of Hotel and Lodging Management was extremely competitive. She received a score of 93 out of 100.
Savanna Millermon received a medal for her role play in Principles of Business Management and Administration.
Emma Lamb and Payten Knops received a medal for their role play in Travel and Tourism Team.
The event, organized and run by the UW-Stout Marketing and Business Education Association, is an applied learning experience for high school competitors and leaders from regional marketing and business education programs.
More than 300 students from 14 area high schools participated. The schools included Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Glenwood City, Holmen, Hudson, Melrose-Mendoro, Menomonie, Northwestern, Plum City, Sparta, St. Croix Falls, Superior, Tomah and West Salem.
They competed in 25 industry-validated events aligned with national curriculum in the career clusters of marketing, business management, and administration, finance, and hospitality and tourism.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students logged into a website for their role play event. They then recorded and uploaded their role play for judging by marketing professionals, who volunteered their time, and took their cluster exams online too.
“They were given a week to complete their video,” said Debbie Stanislawski, professor and program director of marketing and business education undergraduate program at UW-Stout. “We wanted to be inclusive and to allow as many to participate as possible. We wanted to make sure they had enough time and the support they needed to succeed. The advantage was they had the time to think about the role play and to process it and better prepare.”
Even though it was the first year the competition was virtual, it went well, Stanislawski said. “Our competitors rose to the occasion,” she noted.
The announcement of awards was made on YouTube. This allowed participating schools to determine if they wanted to host face-to-face or virtual watch parties with students, Stanislawski said.
The state competition, which will also be held virtually, will begin March 3 and run through the 8th. Results are expected to be released by March 13th.
In the state competition, Walz will again be participating in Apparel and Accessories Marketing, Knops and Lamb will also remain in their category of Travel and Tourism while both Anderson and Millermon will try something new with Anderson competing in Restaurant Food Services Management and Millermon participating in Principles of Marketing.
Nanette Goodman serves as the Glenwood City DECA adviser.
DECA has 225,000 members in 3,700 high school chapters and 215 collegiate chapters. DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.