DECA students bring home wins

4 students place at district conference, 8 advance to states


Freedom’s chapter poses for a photo after the District 2 Conference on Dec. 5

On Dec. 5, 14 Freedom DECA students went to the Sheraton Hotel in Moon Township to compete in the District 2 Conference.
They competed against Chartiers Valley, North Allegheny, Aliquippa, BCCTC and PA Cyber. Once the conference began, all of the participants took a 100-question cluster exam on their specific topic as an individual or in a team.
District 2 Representative Rachel DeCesaris played a large part in the conference.
“It was an honor to serve as the District 2 Representative this year. This totally made me fall in love with DECA even more. I was able to see the planning side of things. I got to work closely with students within the district, not just within Freedom. I helped raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society [the state charity for PA DECA] and I got to better myself as a speaker and a leader,” DeCesaris said.
Once the tests were done, a dance took place along with the hotel serving lunch.This gave the participants time to mingle and get to know each other.
The next event was a roleplay. Each team or individual competitor had a set amount of time to organize their thoughts and prepare to present in front of a judge.
A roleplay is where each individual or team is given a random scenario and they must plan what they are going to do or say to their judge or judges.The competitors have indicators that the judges are scoring them. These indicators must be hit in order to get a better score and place at the conference. The judges also take into consideration the plan stated, communication skills, and how well a team works together.
From there, the judges will take the score of the roleplay, which is out of 100, and add that to the score of the 100 question test the competitors had taken earlier that day.
The top three individuals and the top two teams from each category were announced at an award ceremony at the end of the day. Those individuals and teams were selected to move on to the state competition to be held in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Feb. 22 through Feb. 24.
Freedom had eight students place during this conference, four individual students and two teams. Senior Avery Sarye took second place in the Retail Merchandising category, DeCesaris won third place for Apparel and Accessories, freshman Mason Hedge placed fourth in Hotel and Lodging Management Series, junior Bailey Alford placed in Quick Serve Restaurant Management and the team consisting of the president of Freedom’s chapter of DECA Devin Daley and junior Daniel White earned second place in Marketing Management Team Decision Making and the team of freshmen Cade Skuse and Cole Skuse placed fourth in Buying and Merchandising Team Decision making.
Cade Skuse, Cole Skuse, Alford and Hedge all advanced after the fact due to competitors in their categories dropping out or being unable to attend the state conference.
Freedom DECA has frequently had members place through the past few years.
“This is my fourth time placing at the district competition. I placed first my freshman year [in Marketing Management] and second every year since,” Daley said. This is Daley’s first year competing on a team and not as an individual.
Students enjoy going to the DECA competitions for the experience and to learn about their category.
“DECA is a great way for students to get more involved with other schools and potentially find an interest in a field of work that they may go into later on in life. Even if they don’t plan on going into that field, it still gives a great opportunity for them to learn skills that they could use somewhere else,” Cole Skuse said.
Having eight student advance to states allows the DECA organization to represent FHS on higher levels. One of these seven students, DeCesaris, is planning on running for executive council at states.