Thomas Jefferson

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Dominating at DECA

Posted 04/10/2023 by Stephen LoJacono

The finalists stand on stage after receiving their awards. photo by Stephen LoJacono

TJ’s DECA students won first place in three events at this year’s State Competition.

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is a club across the United States and in eight other countries that allows high school and college students to use aspects of business and marketing in role-playing, manuals, and presentations for a chance at the International conference. At Thomas Jefferson High School, students in business and marketing classes compete first against local schools and then at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. But this year, for the first time at TJ, there were six first-place finishers, seniors Kate Little, Henry Shukert, Max Hauer along with juniors Blake Moe, Grant Randles, and Wyatt Tyler. No TJ student has received first place in their event in over 20 years. 

These students, along with a few others, will go to Orlando, Florida, for their third and biggest competition at Internationals for DECA from April 22nd to the 25th. Little, the DECA state officer for Colorado, talked about her experiences throughout this year of her competition. “It felt like a lot of hard work had finally paid off and you finally climbed to the top of the mountain after you spent all of the time hiking it in some sense.” Little is a major part of DECA, having the highest role for a student in the state and helping to give out first-place medals. Little also mentioned how she felt seeing other TJ students come out on top in the state-level competition. “It was a great experience for me because I have known some of these kids almost all of my life, so to hear their names get called for first place it got me excited, too.” 

Another first-place finisher, Moe, described how he felt after winning first place. “We were yelling and screaming compared to the other winners that just walked off stage, and it’s that kind of energy that we think helped us get first and we wanted to reflect that in our celebration.” 

Moe, Randles, and Tyler have known each other since they were in preschool and understand the importance of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of one another. Shukert talked about how he and Hauer team up during their competitions. “Max is good at some things, I’m good at others, and as a duo we can work together during these role plays which makes it easier for both of us. DECA is a lot about picking up ideas on-the-go which can be difficult for many students. But being able to have a partner helps a lot and takes a lot of stress off me.” 

Even though DECA is considered difficult by some, it benefits many students across the globe with competitions and simulating real-life situations in actual jobs. This allows Thomas Jefferson DECA students to go up against the best of the best. The TJ community is excited to see what these students are capable of, and only time will tell.