DECA competes virtually in competition


Senior Ava Denton, a second year DECA student, who is a hotel and lodging state qualifier.

Alexander Schmidt, Reporter

Although they hadn’t met in person all semester, 28 DECA students didn’t let that get in the way of competing in the annual competition.
DECA, a business and marketing organization, held its district competition on Dec. 14. Due to COVID restrictions, this year’s competition was held through Microsoft Teams.
“I have enjoyed the competitions we have had so far, although I wish they were in person,” sophomore Ella Smith said. “It has definitely been challenging but we had a lot of fun.”
Depending on their area of interest and skill level, students competed in many different areas with various questions or tasks to complete.
“I will get a business scenario that has an issue that needs solved, I will have ten minutes to do so,” senior Ava Denton said. “When that ten minutes is up, I present it to the judge. This is known as role-playing.”
Students have been working on their competition events since the beginning of the school year.
“They prepared by practicing role-playing over Microsoft Teams meetings,” adviser Dana Boice said. “The students not only worked on solving the role-play questions but also camera presence and timing.”
Students participating in DECA must be enrolled in one of several business classes at Utica. Most of the business are apart of Boice’s marketing program.
After competing virtually, students waited anxiously for the results, which took place a month later., on Jan. 14.
Students viewed the awards ceremony online during Student Support Time and a small portion of their second hours.
“It was so exciting to watch the awards on YouTube,” Boice said in an email. “Now we need a fun way to celebrate.”
During the awards, 19 DECA students learned that they had advanced to the state leveL
“The virtual awards ceremony was the best way to help us stay safe,” sophomore Natalie Shtogrin said, “but at the same time, I wish I could’ve shared my reaction with Mrs. Boice and Mrs. Snyder.”
In addition to qualifying. 13 students won a testing medal, and six students won a medal in role-play, which earned them recognition as best in their section.
“I was honestly in shock when I won,” Shtogrin said. “As a sophomore, it was my first year and I looked at it as practice for the years ahead. So I am very excited for states.”