Students Learn Business Tools 
in Class and DECA Events 4

State Competition is in Colorado Springs

Thomas Green and Logan Eatherton are among the Parker area students heading to the state DECA competition in Colorado Springs this February.

The two Ponderosa High School seniors competed as a team in the Business Law and Ethics category during the Douglas County School District (DCSD) competition in November.

After they were given a “real world” business scenario, the team had 20 minutes to prepare their presentation for Celeste Gardner, who competed in DECA when she was in high school and was one of 72 industry volunteers who donated their morning to judge the students.

“They were very good,” Gardner says, referring to their presentation, which she says was very complete, well thought out and included multiple options.

This was the second year the two seniors competed as a team, feeling much better about their performance.  As a veteran team, they say, they had better chemistry and didn’t interrupt each other. They believe they also came across as more mature and engaged this time around.

Green and Eatherton believe their futures will be better because of their participation in DECA, a co-curricular career and technical student organization that is available to more than 1,500 students in the district.

Furthermore, Green says he has an easier time speaking to people, especially new acquaintances.

Eatherton says he recently was interviewed by Adidas and felt that being able to talk to the interviewers in a respectful way was part of the reason he got the job.

They’ll need those improved skills when they join the 340 qualifiers from DCSD and 2,800 students statewide who will show off their finest business and marketing skills at The Broadmoor on February 28 through March 1.

“During that event, the students will bring with them written business plans for advertising campaigns, sports marketing and financial literacy, which they have been working on in the classroom,” says Sheri Bryant, career and technical education coordinator for the district. “This allows students to use skills they learn in the classroom in a more practical way.”

Those who do well at the State Career Development Conference will join about 17,000 competitors from all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain, who will compete at the International Career Development Conference in Nashville April 23-26.

Some students will also compete for a position on the Colorado state DECA officer team.

“Officer candidates present 20 marketing brochures, take a 100-question exam, prepare a resume and do an interview,” Bryant says, adding the experience gives the students the competitive spirit and interviewing advantage that will help them in their post-secondary experience in college or the workforce.