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Posted: 01/22/14

DECA students sweep
at district competition

Observer Staff Writer
      Romeo swept a majority of the categories this year at the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) district competition.
       Of the 13 Romeo High School students that went to the district-level of the DECA competition on Jan. 11, 12 will advance to the state level this March to show off their skills in business and critical thinking against thousands of other students.
       DECA competitions award medals based on how well students perform on tests and role playing in marketing and business. Students are given a scenario regarding a topic to discuss and who they are discussing it with, such as a CEO, customer or friend. They're given 10 minutes to prepare before giving their presentation to judges. Some categories require tests to be completed before giving a presentation.
       Ronald LeBlanc, marketing instructor at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center, said he was proud of how well his students did, noting that many of them competed for the first time.
       "I'm extremely proud, and it's impressive that 12 of 13 will advance to states," he said.
       Seniors Madeline Geffert, Danny Bartolotta and Eric Faulman have competed and advanced to the state level for three consecutive years. Geffert competed in marketing management while Bartolotta and Faulman won as a team in business law and ethics.
       The duo wasn't the only Romeo team. Seniors Alexandra Errante and Kara Locke partnered up to advance in the hospitality team decision-making category. They said it can be bad if one team member doesn't do as well but, were glad to depend on someone else.
       "I think it would be easier to work with someone else because you have two minds instead of one," Errante said.
       Students like Miranda Losey, a junior, differed from her students in that she created an 11-page entrepreneur plan and presented it to the judges. She said it was a good experience because it exposed her to interviews and other high-pressure situations.
       "I want to own my own business someday, so it gave me an opportunity to get all the details about my business and present it to someone," she said.
       Cole Rapp, a sophomore, shared in her nervousness, joking that he was surprised to hear he medaled. His category was business service management.
       "I think sitting in the room before the judge was the hardest part, because there was the anticipation and not knowing what to expect," he said.
       Other students that will advance include Andrew Barthold, Kate Forro, Jill Kearney, Hayden Townley and Ali Troia.
       LeBlanc said while senior Maddy Rossmann won't advance, she earned a 97 percent on her role play, the highest score amongst her Romeo students.
       "She just got stuck in a tough bracket," he said. "She missed out by a point."
       Rossmann admitted it was a little intimidating to go before judges in the Human Resources management category, but said it helped her with speech and quick-thinking skills for college.
       "With my brothers especially I'm kind of a mediator, so it was kind of like a business form of that," she said.
       The upcoming competition gives students the chance to network with DECA members from around the state. LeBlanc said DECA also stands out on resumes and applications and provides leadership skills.
       "It's critical thinking, it's taking part in an interview, it gets them ready for interviews and to speak to bosses or people they have to influence or present their ideas to," he said.
       LeBlanc said students are pursuing fundraising opportunities to attend. He said it'll cost students $200 each for the weekend competition for fees, meals and hotel rooms. The competition will take place March 14-16 at the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

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Retrieved 7/2/2015 at 10:37:21 PM.
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