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After an impressive showing at the District 6 DECA Conference in January, Pinnacle High School DECA students continued to collect medals at the Arizona DECA Conference held in late February at the Arizona Grand Hotel.
The Arizona DECA Conference is a three-day grueling competition, which begins with a 100 question comprehensive exam. As one of the largest chapters in the state, Pinnacle brought 77 students to the conference and received an impressive 15 test medals, 19 role-play medals, 42 finalist medals, and earned first place in 11 different categories. Pinnacle High School had 41 students qualify for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) that will be held in Nashville April 29-May 2.
To prepare for the ICDC, students will amend their projects and will move back into the practice phase to perfect their presentation skills. This includes practicing their presentations to their peers, parents, and members of the business community that are guests to the classroom. They will participate in “mock competitions” after school to polish their presentations and role-plays. The students will use the state scores to review and edit the written submissions and presentation boards, as well as review the feedback provided by the judges.
DECA Teacher Cheryl Shea will advise and mentor her students before heading to Nashville for the international conference. She explains, “Students should enjoy the experience and make connections! But also, treat it like a business conference. Know that you are representing not only yourself but Pinnacle, PVSchools, and the state of Arizona. International can be overwhelming with more than 20,000 students from all over the world attending the competition. Relax and enjoy the experience.”
Written: 14 out of 15 submitted written papers qualified and each student wrote their paper alone.
Note* Jack Corben wrote a fabulous 20-page business plan for an app for a mental health program for teenagers but missed placing due to a technicality!
Student-Based Enterprise Competition: Gold Certified Student Store with Suhani Rathi and Bella Thompson.
Test Medalist (Top 10 percent in Arizona in their respective categories)
Roleplay Case Study Medalist
Shea explains, “Thirteen years ago there was no coherent sequence of courses focusing on business at Pinnacle High School. Now, we offer a path to grow students’ business acumen with a business foundation class, marketing principles, entrepreneurship, and personal finance. Starting with two students on a single team, I have grown the program exponentially to more than 350 students making it to international competition. Pinnacle is routinely the largest school and the biggest winner at the State competition. Mentoring these students and watching them grow is the highlight of my academic career.”
Even Shea’s former Pinnacle DECA students pay it forward. Alumni routinely return to the classroom as judges, speakers, and editors. “Their commitment to Pinnacle remains strong well after college graduation because they believe in the importance of this program and the legacy they are a part of,” added Shea.
In the past 13 years, Shea has had eight students elected to the State DECA Office. DECA offers exposure and opportunity to develop their leadership skills from the chapter level to the state level and beyond. Pinnacle High School has had four state presidents and one international vice president. This year, Aakash Kakkar, a junior, will proudly represent Pinnacle as part of the 2020-2021 Arizona DECA State Officer Team.
DECA is a co-curricular organization where students demonstrate their classroom knowledge and skills in a competitive environment.
PVSchools wishes the Pinnacle DECA students the best of luck during the ICDC.