By Abigail Starr
“If you can excel in marketing and DECA, you will have no problem moving into college, the career field, and relationships. You will be ahead of the game. Period.” –marketing teacher and DECA advisor Kelly Fowler
On April 20, 17 DECA competitors set out to international competition in Atlanta with the hope of challenging judges with fresh ideas and methodically planned presentations on independent business marketing strategies. This group has been working on their displays since September.
“The time and energy between districts and state competition is exhausting enough, and then to get to a large scale level like international competition in a place where you’ve never been can be so overwhelming. But this team is so connected and powerful you we kind of feel like we can conquer the fear and pressure,” senior Natalie Moyer said.
Moyer, along with seniors Nicole Pretch-Terrell and Lauren Jones, won 6th place in Atlanta with their independent business plan regarding entrepreneurship ideas for small businesses. This plan included a 30 page paper and a 15 minute speech.
“Natalie’s group along with our three other written project groups worked on their presentations in class nearly all year and outside of class. This year’s seniors really bought into the work and impressed me daily,” advisor Kelly Fowler said.
Other competitors participated in role-playing events that include an exam. Seniors Hannah Kassing, Seth Sims and Tiffany Pichon won third place for their presentation on small business growth.
“That feeling of being on stage hearing your group be called for third is just indescribable. I just remember hearing the Blue Springs section go crazy, cheering and yelling. All three of us felt so much pride in what we had accomplished. Thirty plus hours of work had paid off,” Kassing said.
As the year winds down for DECA, senior and DECA vice-president Alyssa Lawrence knows she has a lot of her heart in this program and can tell that her fellow seniors will miss this program everyday.
“I have found my favorite people in this program. I learned so much about myself, others, and what it means to take pride in your work. Mrs. Fowler has done so much for all of us and I cannot wait to check in and see the future success of this program after we’re gone,” Lawrence said.
As for Mrs. Fowler, she is sad to see such a wonderful group go, but is eager to see a new group enroll in her classes this fall.
“While you do have to be enrolled in a marketing class to compete in DECA, it will only help you prepare presentations and build relationships with competitors. Myself and Mrs. VanCamp are very eager to see what the future holds and hope to see lots of new faces,” Fowler said.