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DECA/Marketing students take top honors

ARLINGTON Arlington High Schools DECA and Marketing students went up against a dozen other schools, represented by more than 800 students, at the Area One DECA competition Jan. 22 at Monroe High School, and scored first-place wins in the categories of apparel and marketing management, and fashion promotion planning.
Nearly half of the close to 30 AHS DECA/Marketing students who attended the area competition are now eligible to compete on the state level, since they now rank among the 72 top students in the state, in their respective DECA categories.
Jessica Floe placed first in apparent management, just as Andrew Crouse took first in marketing management, while Daniel McArthur scored first in fashion promotion planning and Tim Conway ranked second in business services management. Kyle Johnson earned fifth in quick serve restaurant management, just as Stacey Gonzales and Michael Lobaito placed fifth in the new team category of buying and merchandising. Kurt Hampton took sixth in marketing management, while Katie Shotwell, Cassandra Ball and Michael Keating scored eighth in their respective categories of business services, restaurant management and sports marketing. Maria Reyes ranked 10th in apparel management, while Charlie Oxstien and Janice Ayala earned 11th in restaurant management and retail management, respectively. All the above AHS DECA/Marketing students are eligible for state competition.
DECA competitors must complete a 100-question test, before being given 10 minutes to prepare for an eight-minute role-play, all relating to various business and marketing scenarios. While the test questions and role-playing scenarios change with each competition, competitors are given 10 sample questions from each test to study, and can consult their more experienced peers to determine what they might be able to expect from the judges during their role-plays. For Gonzales and Lobaito, however, the fact that no one had ever competed in their category before made it difficult for them to prepare.
All of the state-eligible DECA/Marketing students from AHS have competed at least in the area level in previous years, and several attributed their increased success to choosing categories that more closely suited their interests. Conway switched to business services management because his experiences of watching his father at work, as well as holding down a job of his own at Best Buy, made him feel more confident in the customer service aspects of the category.
AHS DECA/Marketing teacher Karen Timken believes that her students possess the two characteristics that judges at DECA competitions want, namely their ability to think out side the box and look beyond the obvious, as well as the ability to apply what they understand and communicate it to others.
These abilities are augmented by hours of research and practice tests, across wide ranges of subjects well beyond the categories that the students are competing in, since many of these students see DECA as a path to their chosen career fields as adults. Reyes hopes to work in the fashion industry in the future, while Conway contended that hes already been able to apply the lessons hes learned in DECA to his duties at Best Buy.

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