DECA shines at state

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Senior Jake Wolken poses with his girlfriend Jackie Hauser as they flaunt their third place glass trophies in Hospitality and Team Decision Making at the 2016 State Career Development Conference.

Max Yera staff writer

The Normans’ DECA team competed in the California State Career Development Conference this past weekend from March 3-6.

Participants in the conference were required to take a test on their category (a field of business) and perform a roleplay on each contestant’s respective category of competition.

The competition was for many, including junior Shimon Dubner, their first experience in a DECA state competition.

“It was my first conference and I was new to DECA, but my partner, Jessica Moghaddam, and I did extremely well,” Dubner said.

It was also the first state competition for junior Blake Sloane who, along with his partner, junior Lana Schwartz, placed in the top five in California for their field of business.

“I was participating in Hospitality Team Decision Making with my partner Lana [Schwartz],” Sloane said. “[Lana] and I were top five finalists for our role play, and we were also in the top five overall in California for our category.”

Such accomplishments led Schwartz and Sloane to qualify as alternates for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) which will be held in Nashville, Tennessee from April 22-26.

“I surprised myself. There were around 50 other partnered groups in my category,” Schwartz said. “Blake Sloane and I participated as a partnered group and made top five, which is hard to do when most of the other kids in our category take DECA as a class.”

The duo of junior Jackie Hauser and senior Jake Wolken, however, will be the only Beverly students participating in the ICDC competition come April, as they placed third overall in their event, which was formally named Hospitality Services Team Decision Making.

On her expectations for the ICDC, Hauser said, “[Jake and I] expect it to be a ton of fun. Neither of us have been to Nashville, so it’ll be a cool experience.”

Despite such excitement, Hauser has addressed the increasingly level of difficulty that both Wolken and her will face in Nashville. Nevertheless, the duo remains undeterred as they have high hopes for the ICDC.

“We expect the competition to be much more difficult, so we plan on preparing a lot more,” Hauser said. “Ideally, we want to place internationally in our event as well.”

Regardless of how Hauser and Wolken place in the ICDC come April, their accomplishments for making the competition itself is nothing short of extraordinary as they will now compete against students across the globe in one of the most highly regarded DECA competitions.

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