DECA students prepare for state competition

Kelsey Van Hook, Writer

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Ten students participated in the DECA District competition at Chesterfield Mall on Feb. 8, and five now have the opportunity to compete at the state competition in Kansas City, March 11-13.

Seniors Tatiyanna Beard, Chloe Neal and Kelsey Van Hook along with underclassmen Katheryn Wince and Gabby Shipman are amongst the Missouri District 7 qualifiers.

First-time DECA participant Chloe Neal said she was really scared going into her first competition.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” she said. “I felt slightly unprepared because I didn’t have time to practice as much as I would’ve liked.”

DECA sponsor Doug McGhee thinks it will be a fun and enjoyable time for the participants and himself.

“I’m excited to see how the students compete and succeed in their competitions,” he said. “My main goal is for them is to learn and experience new things.”

Second-year state competitor Tatiyanna Beard said she is looking forward to the contest.

“I’m super excited to attend state for the second time because I feel much more prepared than last year and I also feel like I have a better chance to advance to Nationals.”

Although students have a 3-day vacation from anything class related, Neal is focused on perfecting her DECA work.

“Even though I received first in my event at districts, I definitely need to capitalize on my strengths and figure out where I lost points.”

If Beard and the other students perform well at the state competition, they will be on the road to Nationals which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, this year.

“I’m most looking forward to going to state with a new group of people because I feel like we all have a strong chance at making it to Nationals together.”

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