FLHS business students advance to state competition

DECA students competing at the district level include, front row: Taylor Thomas, Cassandra Geisner, Tasha Montzka, Sofia Rappa and KimCheng Lee. Middle row: Kayla Pepin, Ali Steenblock, Kennedy Crever and Lillia Theisen. Back row: Nick Ladwig, Derek Geisner, James Swanson, Dan Mollet, Doug Mihelich, Jesse Peterson and Evan Haas.

DECA students competing at the district level include, front row: Taylor Thomas, Cassandra Geisner, Tasha Montzka, Sofia Rappa and KimCheng Lee. Middle row: Kayla Pepin, Ali Steenblock, Kennedy Crever and Lillia Theisen. Back row: Nick Ladwig, Derek Geisner, James Swanson, Dan Mollet, Doug Mihelich, Jesse Peterson and Evan Haas.

DECA, formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international association of students and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

On Jan. 13 and 14, at the district DECA competition held at the Crown Plaza West Hotel in Plymouth, Forest Lake students were among 300 students from 12 schools vying for a spot at state.

Students competed in a variety of business competitions, including interviewing, sales demonstrations, and writing a business plan. To advance to state, they needed to place in the top 10 in the district.

The 11 who succeeded will compete at the state conference on March 3 to 5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis.  If they place in the top 10 at the state conference, they will advance to the nationals held in Anaheim in April.

Sophomore Sofia Rappa earned a first-place finish in sales demonstration and senior Jesse Peterson a second-place finish in entrepreneurship. Sophomore Douglas Mihelich placed in two different categories, finishing third in public speaking and fourth in principles of marketing.

“This was my first year as an advisor and it was one of the greatest teaching experiences of my career.  Seeing the students push themselves and work hard, and get called onto the stage at the awards ceremony to qualify for state was a great moment,” said high school business teacher Kristen Nellis, DECA advisor.

DECA, founded in 1946, prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

There are seven DECA districts in Minnesota. Forest Lake, in District 4, competes against Andover, Anoka, Champlin Park, Chisago Lakes, Coon Rapids, Elk River, Irondale, Maple Grove, Mounds View, Rogers and Zimmerman.

The Forest Lake group has 46 students who meet regularly as an extra-curricular activity. They are planning a trip to New York City.

Results

Sofia Rappa (grade 10)
Sales Demonstration Soft Lines

Cassie Giesner (grade 12)
Sales Demonstration Hard Lines

Nick Ladwig (grade 12)
Sports and Entertainment Marketing

KimCheng Lee (grade 12)
Sports and Entertainment Marketing

Doug Mihelzch (grade 10)
Principles of Marketing, Sales Demonstration Hard Lines, Public Speaking

Jesse Peterson (grade 12)
Entrepreneurship Participating

Evan Haas (grade 12)
Entrepreneurship Participating

James Swanson (grade 12)
Business Finance

Derek Giesner  (grade 11)
Human Resources

Dan Mollett (grade 12)

Business Services Marketing

Taylor Thomas (grade 10)
Food Marketing

  • Deb Esmay

    Congratulations to the entire DECA team on their awards and expertise. Special accolades to Doug Mihelich, former Century Junior High outstanding speaker! Century continues to be awed and proud of your accomplishments, Doug. Thanks again for helping with the DRAWS for Century’s Home Speech Meet this year,too! Bravo!

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