DECA State Competition: the World of Business Beyond the Classroom


provided by DECA competitors

EHS Students Compete at SCDC for DECA.

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) members at Edison High School competed at the State Career Development Conference (SCDC) in Atlantic City from February 28 to March 2. Thirty one EHS students competed in the state competition, and ten competitors were finalists. State chaperones were Twenty First Century Skills supervisor Ms. Nicole Halpin, department supervisor Ms. Kristen Tsaoys, and Family and Consumer Science teacher Ms. Danielle Heath. This year, seven students qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), and four will be going to Atlanta, Georgia from April 22 to 26, where Ms. Halpin will chaperone.

Edison High School’s chapter of DECA competes yearly against other students in the region and state in a competition regarding different aspects of business fields. Students can compete in events like marketing, finance, and business administration, at three different levels: the Central-West region, state (SCDC), and international (ICDC).

Competing DECA members first take a test related to their event for the regional competition. If they qualified for the state competition, students competed in Atlantic City, where they took another test and participated in a roleplay. In this roleplay, students assume a position related to their category and respond to a business situation. They are given ten minutes to prepare for the given scenario and then interact with the judge about that situation for ten minutes. Only ten students in each category make it to the semi-finalist round, where seven students then qualify for ICDC.

The State Competition included two awards ceremonies: the Mini Awards Ceremony and the Grand Awards Ceremony. The Mini Awards Ceremony took place on March 1, 2022, and it rewarded the students with the highest test scores or the best roleplays. The students that qualified for ICDC dressed in their formal attire for the Grand Awards Ceremony and the top seven finalists from the ten semi-finalists were awarded a glass trophy, recognizing their achievement of the highest cumulative score for the state test and the roleplay.

Individuals who qualified for ICDC:

  • Gauri Kshettry ‘25
  • Archana Maryada ‘25
  • Vedant Talati ‘25
  • Sahil Desai ‘22 
  • Abhinav Arya ‘22
  • Jayesh Chaurasia ‘23
  • Sami Qureshi ‘23

While other students were not competing, they were able to have fun with their friends at a hub filled with various games such as ping pong, chess, and Just Dance. After their role plays were over, students relaxed in the hotel rooms and explored different parts of the hotel with their friends. 

“The judges were chill and we did some fun tasks, so it was an awesome experience. Definitely something underclassmen should get into, even if they don’t necessarily want to go into business. The role plays especially require skills like public speaking and thinking on your feet that apply in a greater context,” said Abhinav Arya ‘22.

“DECA was an amazing experience for me and I had the chance to meet countless students from all over NJ. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to have a fun time and experience the business world. The roleplays helped me gain confidence when speaking to professionals in a formal setting without any prior preparation,” said Vedant Talati ‘25 when discussing his first in-person DECA competition.

Numerous students enjoyed their time at SCDC because they were able to network with individuals in the business field. The DECA competition allowed students to gain valuable experience and explore occupations in business. Aside from competing, EHS chapter presidents were also able to attend meetings to talk to chapter presidents from other schools. 

“I had the opportunity to go to the chapter presidents’ meeting at states in Atlantic City [after SCDC], where I was able to network with other presidents and talk about DECA and the differences between chapters,” said Aditya Modi ‘22, one of EHS’ chapter presidents.

“First of all, I’m exceedingly proud of all our students,” said Ms. Lynne Tierney.  “One of the great things about DECA is that it measures students’ knowledge of business and how well they can present it in front of judges. You have to be able to communicate and think on your feet. DECA lets you do that, which makes what you are learning in a classroom real.”