The DECA districts competition took place on Wednesday, December 17, with sixty Andover High School students participating.

Thirty-three teams, consisting of up to three members, hailed from Andover High School. Over half of the teams who entered districts are going to states. Since certain team events did not require qualifying at districts first, fifty-six teams in total from Andover qualified for states.

DECA originally stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America. Currently, they are just referred to as “DECA club”. The goal of the club is to prepare new and emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in the fields of marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.

“DECA is so much fun for the students who participate. They get to role play and present their case studies to a panel of judges,” said Mrs. Stevens, Marketing and Entrepreneurship teacher, as well as DECA club leader. “It’s such a great experience.”

Many students at Andover High School who participate in DECA club are excited to pursue business and entrepreneurship-based majors in college.

“I really like doing DECA; it’s pretty fun. I’m interested in business so this club helps me prepare, and it really interests me,” said Nikki Christopoulos, senior and DECA club member.

In many of the DECA events, students are presented with a case study relevant to their specific event. They are given a real-life scenario in which they have to utilize business fundamentals to draft a resolution. After thirty minutes of planning, the students must present their recommendations to a panel of judges. For other events, teams work on an independent business plan throughout the year, and propose their unique business to a panel of judges who rank them on a variety of criteria.

“I have a lot of kids that are really interested in entrepreneurship here at the high school; the club always has an extremely good turnout, and my kids always do very well in the competitions. They make me so proud,” said Stevens.

With many opportunities and programs, DECA has 200,000 members in 3,500 high schools nationally. It is a nonprofit organization that supports students around the world. For those who are interested, DECA runs programs at the college level, as well as at the high school level.

By Alexia Smith