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Record Year for Nipmuc at the State DECA Competition

Some of the 17 Nipmuc High School students qualified to participate in the DECA International Competition in Salt Lake City, April 28-May 2.

Some talented Nipmuc High School students recently had a chance to show off their marketing skills at the DECA state-level competition in Boston. DECA, or Distributive Education Club of America, is a marketing organization for high school students with the goal of preparing "emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe."

The 106 members of Nipmuc's DECA Club, along with their advisor and Business Teacher Gary Perras, spent March 8-10 at the Boston Marriot Copley Place presenting their marketing plans in different categories such as Fashion Merchandising, Sports & Entertainment Marketing, and Public Relations. Students were given the choice to either prepare a promotional plan in advance by writing an 11-30 page paper, making a visual element such as a poster, and making a presentation to a panel of judges during the competition; or they could take part in a spontaneous roll playing scenario based on a series of business questions, where they had only a brief time to prepare their answers.

Nimpuc High Senior and DECA State Officer Dan Consigli said that the State Competition this year was a great event. "There was a lot of energy; everyone was excited to compete and represent their schools," he said.

Junior Chris Desilets spent his time at the competition campaigning for DECA state office and exploring his skills by taking two, 100 question tests and participating in a roll-playing situation on sports and entertainment marketing. "(DECA) is a more hands-on experience that takes us out of the classroom, where we are not just learning from books," he said.

Cindy Garabedian and Julia Accorisini, both seniors, have been preparing since the summer for their DECA presentation. "We started thinking about it in August," said Cindy. The girls developed a hypothetical merchandising plan for Victoria's Secret based around the idea of "giving back" during the holiday season. They created a limited edition seasonal line of products called "Born To Be Wild," where part of the proceeds would be donated to the World Wildlife Federation. Cindy and Julia's project placed 1st out of 30 teams in the Fashion Merchandising category. "It feels awesome. We are both really proud of our project," said Cindy. "The best part is that in the real world we can be successful and know our ideas are worthwhile ideas."

Dan, Chris, Cindy and Julia all qualified for DECA's International Competition along with classmates Erika Greenwood, Aaron Larouco, Dana Perry, Ryan McFadden, Stephen Pihl, Tanor Jobe, Maren Chiburis, Andrew Morin, Craig Ellis, Adam Ferrucci, William Johnson, Emily Ciantra, and Marissa DePolo.

Perras said that this was a record year for Nipmuc at the State competition. "Out of 106 students, 47 of them placed or were finalists in their categories. Of those 47, 17 qualified for International Competition," he said.

Those 17 students will be traveling to Salt Lake City to take part in DECA's International Competition from April 28-May 2. There they will compete with over 18,000 students from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guam, Germany, and Puerto Rico.

"The students in the DECA Club are awesome," said Perras. "Most of the work they do is self-motivated. They can only learn so much in class and therefore spend a lot of time working on ideas outside of school. They are all smart and hardworking," he said.


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