AAPS: Pioneer DECA chapter boasts record-breaking showing at state competition

Pioneer High School’s DECA chapter had a record-breaking showing at the state competition that took place over the past week.

DECA is an association of marketing students that conducts academic games competitions for students interested in management, marketing, and entrepreneurial careers.

“This year our competition was quite different, as the format was fully virtual,” said Kara Morabito, Pioneer marketing teacher and DECA advisor.  “I was completely blown away by the students’ willingness to work so hard to prepare and compete during this difficult year and alternate setting. Our national competition will also be virtual so a trip to a sunny location was no longer a motivating factor.  Instead, these students had to rely on their own self-motivation to put in the work and prove that they are one of the top high school business students in the state of Michigan.”

There are about 350 Michigan High Schools that offer DECA as part of their high school curriculum. Since Pioneer DECA was established in 1980, there have been 255 Pioneer Michigan State DECA Champions who qualified for and participated in the International DECA Championship in various U.S. cities.

Aditya Bapat and Kyle Cheng get ready to distribute door hangers promoting their Souper Heroes Food Drive which collected food and donations for Food Gatherers. For their effort, the two won the state DECA championship in the Community Giving Project category.

DECA at Pioneer High School is a part of the marketing and business education curriculum.   Impromptu role-plays of business case problems or presentations of written business plans with volunteer business professionals serving as judges are the main focus of the conferences that Pioneer will enter.

Morabito expressed appreciation to Brooke McCully, Marcie Allgeyer and Brian Guastella for volunteering to facilitate the competition.

The following students won awards in their events:

Michigan DECA State Champions

Shankrith Chandru, Business Finance

Cameron Williston, Hospitality Services

Robert Yang, Hospitality Services

Paris Carter, Principles of Marketing

Malak Samaha, Hospitality Operations Research

Matthew Ruud, Hospitality Operations Research

Naiomi Malcheff, Business Growth Plan

Zach Pryor, Start Up Business Plan

Radina Dinov, Start Up Business Plan

Elizabeth Webb, Business Solutions Plan

Kaitlin McCreadie, Business Solutions Plan

Mia Steinhauer, Sports Operations Research

Katie German, Sports Operations Research

Eva Petroff, Community Awareness Project

Logan Brown, Community Awareness Project

Aditya Bapat, Community Giving Project

Kyle Cheng, Community Giving Project

Francesca Chetcuti, Franchise Business Plan

Sandy Hall, Franchise Business Plan

Jade Laatsch, Franchise Business Plan

Jack Yerkes, International Business Plan

Kelvin Jia, International Business Plan

State Champion Runners-Up

Ishara Kelsaw‐Fletcher, Apparel & Accessories Marketing

Charlotte Winegarden, Apparel & Accessories Marketing

Tiffany Li, Food Marketing

Mae Veidlinger, Quick Service Restaurant Management

Anna Kaganov, Restaurant and Food Service Management

Colten Heatley, Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Michael Suter, Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Anthony Gibbons, Sports & Entertainment Marketing

John Lang, Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Sarika Pai, Innovation Plan

1st Place – Event Scenario:

Shankrith Chandru, Business Finance

Paris Carter, Principles of Marketing

Charlotte Winegarden, Apparel & Accessories Marketing

1st Place – Occupational Exam:

Cameron Williston, Hospitality Services

Robert Yang, Hospitality Services

Mary Corey, Marketing Management

Garrett Krach, Sports & Entertainment Marketing

Anna Kaganov, Restaurant and Food Service Management