Go big or go home: DECA has huge success at District 3 competition


Credit: Jeffrey Birkes

DECA members pose in the tower before heading off to their competition at Western Michigan University.

Kierra Walker, Tower Talk Team

“Hey, ho! My students won, let’s go!” cheered Loy Norrix’s DECA advisor, Atiba Ward.
On Friday, Jan. 20, Distributive Education Clubs of America [DECA] members from Loy Norrix met with over 700 other students from neighboring districts for the 2023 district competitive event held at Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business.
DECA is a nationwide club for high school students to practice business and become efficient in areas such as marketing, finance and hospitality.
Prior to districts, DECA members were administered state-wide tests that contributed to their total score including the essay or role-play they completed at districts.
In districts, competing individually or with a single partner, members must finish at the top of their respective categories in order to advance to the next stage.
After practicing and preparing for over 3 months, they were finally able to showcase their skills at their first competition of this year.
Their hard work and dedication were far from wasted, and that’s been recognized by Ward.
“I’m very proud of everyone,” he said. “They worked so hard and gave up their Fridays – weekends sometimes – for this. It was a great way to show school spirit and represent Loy Norrix.”

The club came out triumphant with 20 members qualifying to compete in the state competition in March with a combined total of 42 medals earned.
Most who competed were returning members, but that didn’t make it any less nerve-wracking.
“I felt nervous and excited before and while competing,” said junior Clarence McCants. “After competing I felt confident in my abilities and relieved.”
Medal recipients excitedly flaunted their awards after the ceremonies and beamed as their names were called on announcements the following Monday.
Though it’d be nice to relax after having such a great win, all focus is now on making it past the state competition in Detroit and advancing to nationals which will be held in Orlando, Florida.

Winners and categories:
Nada Awad: Restaurant and Food Service Management Series
Bridgette Bol: Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
Lauren Dunning: Principles of Finance
Rebekah He and Karina Martinez-Villanueva: Financial Services Team Decision Making
Sage Herrera: Apparel & Accessories Marketing Series
Neyda Isidoro-Martinez: Human Resources Management Series
Caleb Jackson: Hotel and Lodging Management Series
Jaydon Kelley: Hotel and Lodging Management Series
Kameran Long: Business Services Marketing Series
Amady Mboup: Entrepreneurship Series
Clarence McCants: Automotive Services Marketing Series
Anna and Wendy Miedema: Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Sequoya Morning: Human Resources Management Series
Annalise Ransom: Hospitality Services
Jeziah Samuels: Principles of Business Management and Administration
Nateya Thomas and Aliah Ward: Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Kierra Walker: Personal Financial Literacy