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33 students to compete at DECA internationals

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33 students to compete at DECA internationals

Students advancing to ICDC pose for a picture with their awards.

Students advancing to ICDC pose for a picture with their awards.

Submitted by Kari Michalek

Students advancing to ICDC pose for a picture with their awards.

Submitted by Kari Michalek

Submitted by Kari Michalek

Students advancing to ICDC pose for a picture with their awards.

Codi Farmer, Staff Reporter

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DECA, a competitive business club, took 90 students to the state competition in Dallas Feb. 21-23. Thirty-three competitors advanced to the international competition, ICDC, which is in Orlando, Fla. April 27-30.

“DECA, to me, has been what I’ve done all throughout high school,” senior and DECA president Mahi Patel said. “I didn’t do a sport so this was something that gave me a group of friends and gave me something to be able to experience all throughout high school.”

Patel advanced to ICDC for the first time in her four years of competing with her partner, senior and District V president Aditi Rao. They compete in the written event, Finance Operations. There are 10 other students advancing in written categories to compete.

“I’ve never been [to ICDC] before so I’m excited to finally experience it after four years,” Patel said. “I’m excited to see how well we do after we took so many people this year, so hopefully we get more people on stage.”

The state competition lasted for three days in Dallas. The first day consisted of checking into the hotel, getting event times and opening ceremony. The second day was competition – each student presented in front of a judge to be scored and evaluated.

“[When Thomas and I finalized] we were really surprised,” junior and state finalist Sam Galyen said. “We were excited, too, but just kept on thinking about how crazy it was because I really didn’t feel like I worked as hard as I could have. Next year, I’ll probably try to learn more terms and work a little harder.”

The final day at state is closing ceremonies, where finalizers in each category get called onto stage and receive a medal. After the finalists for each event are on stage, the announcer then calls the first place winner in every section. Those students in each category advance to ICDC.

“[When we got called], I was just thinking ‘oh my gosh,’” senior Lauren Branard said. “I just looked over at [my partner] Ashley [Novit] and we were both so shocked. Like, we had both felt like we did good in our presentation, but hearing your names get called is just so amazing.”

Branard and Novit advanced to ICDC in a roleplay event, business law and ethics. There were two other Vandegrift teams competing in this category, all three advanced.

“All the other Vandegrift teams competing in our category also advanced so we all just looked at each other on the stage together, smiling,” Branard said. “[Me and Ashley’s] names were the first ones to be called for finalizing and for advancing, so that was really nice.”

DECA is sending the highest number of students to ICDC this year than ever before. However, there were still many students that were disgruntled about not advancing. Adviser Candace Nassar said that she reminded the students that did not advance or finalize that they still had the amazing opportunity to compete at state and for all the underclassmen teams, they could still compete again next year.

“[During the awards] I was just hoping for the best and feeling a lot of excitement,” Nassar said. “It was extremely exciting and you can’t wait to see how it goes and just are happy for everybody. Our names just kept getting called, it was crazy. I was so happy for everybody.”

Nassar said she felt a tremendous amount of pride with her students. She thinks that a large part of the students success, specifically among the seniors, stemmed from their new method of student mentoring instead of advisor mentoring.

“[The students] were participating and mentoring so much that it actually ended up making them better competitors,” Nassar said. “After all of these kids had worked so hard, I was really hopeful. Actually, I was literally praying for Mahi and Aditi. They were on my mind the most just because this was their fourth year competing and they had never advanced to ICDC, so when their name was called, I went crazy. I feel super proud, I mean how can you not?”

These students competed in February:

Bridget Li                        Finalist, Financial Consulting

Ashiqa Momin               Finalist, Professional Selling

Anaika Eledath              Finalist, Role Play Buying and Merchandising

Nivitha Kandula            Finalist, Role Play Buying and Merchandising

Kate Kemmerer             Finalist, Role Play Entrepreneurship

Sarah Tierney                Finalist, Role Play Entrepreneurship

Arina Shah                     Finalist, Role Play Marketing Management

Megan Zeltner               Finalist, Role Play Marketing Management

Thomas Fletcher           Finalist, Role Play Travel and Tourism

Samuel Galyen               Finalist, Role Play Travel and Tourism

Lingshu Pan                   Finalist, Business Services Operations

Akshita Boddapu           Finalist, Independent Business Plan

Anjali Gondi                   Finalist, Integrated Marketing Campaign–Product

Zumanah Mahmud       Finalist, Integrated Marketing Campaign–Product

Mugdha Merchant        Finalist, Start-Up Business Plan

Megha Shah                   Finalist, Start-Up Business Plan

Neha Shah                      Finalist, Start-Up Business Plan

Celina Pan                      Advanced To ICDC, Professional Selling

Neel Agarwal                 Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Finance

Dylan McKenzie            Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Finance

Lauren Branard            Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Law and Ethics

Ashley Novit                  Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Law and Ethics

Hannah Jackson           Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Law and Ethics

Faryal Jabbar                Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Law and Ethics

Eric Morris                    Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Law and Ethics

Grant Shaffer                Advance to ICDC, Role Play Business Law and Ethics

Akansha Chawla           Advance to ICDC, Role Play Buying and Merchandising

Lekha Sripathi              Advance to ICDC, Role Play Buying and Merchandising

Allison Osorio               Advance to ICDC, Role Play Buying and Merchandising

Anna Schmeil                Advance to ICDC, Role Play Buying and Merchandising

Christ Heldebrandt      Advance to ICDC, Role Play Financial Services

Jackson Hiduke            Advance to ICDC, Role Play Financial Services

Sierra Held                    Advance to ICDC, Role Play Marketing Management

Spurthi Kodkani           Advance to ICDC, Role Play Marketing Management

Aayush Dwivedi            Advanced To ICDC, Role Play Restaurant and Food Service Management

Vishal Sagi                     Advanced To ICDC, Role Play Sports and Entertainment Marketing

Gorti Varun                   Advanced To ICDC, Virtual Business Hotel Management

Trinh Nguyen               Advanced To ICDC, Virtual Business Hotel Management

Mahi Patel                     Advanced To ICDC, Finance Operations

Aditi Rao                        Advanced To ICDC, Finance Operations

Mimi Nickerson           Advanced To ICDC, Innovation Plan

Eesha Patel                    Advanced To ICDC, Innovation Plan

Ashritha Chandy          Advanced To ICDC, Integrated Marketing Campaign–Service

Kaya Kimball                Advanced To ICDC, Integrated Marketing Campaign–Service

Devan Patel                   Advanced To ICDC, International Business Plan

Thompson Schmeil      Advanced To ICDC, International Business Plan

Emily Reeder                Advanced To ICDC, Start-Up Business Plan

Hannah Schinzing       Advanced To ICDC, Start-Up Business Plan

Christopher Upp          Advanced To ICDC, Start-Up Business Plan

Spandana Kamepalli   Advanced To ICDC, Start-Up Business Plan

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About the Writer
Codi Farmer, Staff Reporter
Codi Farmer is a junior and this is her first year on the newspaper staff. She is also on the UIL Journalism team. Codi loves dogs, and in her free time loves to read and write.
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33 students to compete at DECA internationals