Megan Ross ’15 – News

On the weekend of March 14th-16th, Romeo High School’s chapter of DECA competed at the State Leadership Conference. DECA is a business management program for teens who plan to pursue a career in marketing, management, or entrepreneurship.

At the conference, participants competed in individual events in the industry they choose. The competition included both a comprehensive exam and a role play portion. Ronald LeBlanc is a Romeo High School teacher and the DECA chapter coach. He discussed the proceedings of the conference.

“Students will first take a test related to their industry. The score they receive will be part of their overall competition score,” Leblanc said. “The second part of the competition is the role play event. Students will be given a case study to read. They will typically be given 10 minutes to read and prepare an answer. Teams get 30 minutes to prep. They will then present their response to a judge, playing the role of a business owner or manager. The presentation will take place as though [the student was] somebody in the company or a consulting firm talking to the owner in his office. The score of the role play will be combined with the test score to get an overall competition score.”

Even with many first-year members, the Romeo High School chapter did exceptionally well in all of their competitions.

“At the State Career Development Conference, which included over 2,000 Michigan students, Romeo again fared very well. Romeo took 11 students to the conference at the Renaissance Center.  Six of those students placed in the top 10 in their event, and three of those advanced to the International Career Development Conference to be held in Atlanta this May,” LeBlanc said.

The three students that will be advancing to the International Career Development Conference are seniors Danny Bartolotta, Eric Faulman, and Katie Forro. While this will be the second year both Bartolotta and Faulman compete in the international competition, it will be an all-new experience for Forro.

“I was really shocked to receive a medal! I didn’t expect to go onstage at all, but I got called up to go to internationals! Apparently, I did better than I thought. It was really exciting!” Forro said.

The whole group was thrilled to have done so well in the competition.

“I was very proud to have 12 or 13 of the DECA students advance to the State Competition,” said LeBlanc. “I was impressed to see so many first year students up on stage earning medals and advancing as well. It seems that each year, Romeo DECA gets stronger and stronger with it’s success at the competitions. I’m looking forward to the trip to Atlanta with three fine representatives of Romeo High School.  They will have their work cut out for them as there will be 16,000 students from across the United States, Canada, Germany, and a few other countries with which they must contend.”

Their hard work payed off in more than just medals. The experience gave the students valuable tools they will be able to use in their future career and educational experiences. Maddie Geffert (12), who placed in the top ten of her bracket, is grateful for the advantages that DECA has given her.

“I’m really glad that I’ve developed good communication skills,” said Geffert. It’s given me so much more confidence. I don’t have to be nervous in interviews, speaking in front of large groups, or even just one-on-one situations. I would highly recommend getting involved to anyone, regardless of whether or not they plan on going into marketing.”

Now, with international competition looming closer, members of the Romeo High School DECA chapter prepare themselves for what they hope will be another major victory. But no matter what happens in competition, they can walk away with their heads held high, knowing that when role play becomes real life, they’ll be ready.

District Winners:

Danny Bartolotta and Eric Faulman (Business Law and Ethics TEAM)

Alexandra Errante and Kara Locke  (Hospitality Services TEAM)

Andrew Barthold (Automotive Services Management)

Kate Forro (Food Services Management)

Maddie Geffert (Marketing Management)

Jill Kearney (Principles of Marketing)

Miranda Losey  (Entrepreneurship Participating Event)

Cole Rapp (Business Services Management)

Hayden Townley (Quick Serve Restaurant Management)

Ali Troia  (Principles of Marketing)

Romeo took 11 students to the State Career Development Conference at the Renaissance Center in March.  Six of those students placed in the top 10 in their event, and three of those advanced to the International Career Development Conference to be held in Atlanta this May.

State Winners (advancing to Internationals):

Danny Bartolotta and Eric Faulman (Business Law and Ethics TEAM)

Kate Forro (Food Services Management)

State Finalists (top ten):

Maddie Geffert (Marketing Management)

Cole Rapp (Business Services Management)

Hayden Townley (Quick Serve Restaurant Management)

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