Over the last month excitement has been mounting for the Minnetonka High School DECA students as they have prepared for state. In the final round before advancing to Nationals, the 53 students headed to Minneapolis to prepare themselves for the 3-day competition at the Hyatt Regency.
"I'm really excited to compete at the DECA state competition," two-year DECA member Preston Chan said before the competition began. "I put a lot of work into the project and I don't want to let my teammates down." He competed in two events at state: a team role play with Nick Gordon and a prepared event with Brooke Van Horne and Claire Johnson.
The first set of competitive events began on Sunday, March 3. Students competed in prepared events and took event exams. Monday was even more eventful, as students competed in their respective role play and competitive event exams. After an intense round of competition, a preliminary awards session followed to close out the night, which determined which students would precede to finals. Tuesday was the last day of the DECA state competition. The 2019 DECA slogan, "Ready for It," was displayed all over the hallways in posters, papers and banners. The final competition would determine if this year's DECA members were truly ready to give the competition their all. Tension built as the day went on as students waited for the final awards ceremony. The events were announced one by one, and the top eight performers were called up to the stage for each respective event that they competed in.
Out of the 53 Minnetonka students, an impressive 23 students stepped onto the podium to claim a trophy and their ticket to Orlando to compete in the International Conference. Annabel Cho, Olivia Graupmann, and Frank Isaacson swept the Innovation Plan event, earning first, second, and third place, respectively. Jai Chadha, a first-year DECA member, earned his spot to Orlando through one of the hardest and most competitive prepared events: Financial Consulting. The support within the team was overwhelming, which made the event even more fun and exciting.
Qualifiers: Cam Anundson, Jai Chadha, Preston Chan, Ally Chan, Annabel Cho, Peyton Crest, Griffin Dobbins, Morgan Fischer, Olivia Graupmann, Frank Isaacson, Claire Johnson, Harry Koeppen, Ryan McCarthy, William Pears, Ted Peters, Hayes Richman, Austin Roberts, Claire Salmi, Maya Schrof, Emme Simning, Brooke Van Horne, Jocelyn Wartnick, and Remi Wollan.
"I'm glad I made it and I'm excited to compete on an international level," Preston Chan said enthusiastically after grabbing first place in his Integrated Marketing Campaign event. "I would also like to thank my DECA advisors for being so helpful and passionate about the success of every student." All international qualifiers will look forward to representing Minnetonka High School for the ICDC DECA event in Orlando, Florida in late April.
Special thanks DECA advisors Mr. Dummer, Ms. Van Lith and Mrs. Lolich and congratulations to all our Minnetonka state and international qualifiers for their excellent competitive spirit and all the hard work they invested into DECA!