HHS DECA chapter holds awards program

The Haywood High School DECA Chapter held its annual awards and recognition program Monday, April 19, in the high school library. Several students were recognized for district, state and national competitions.

Receiving awards for District competition were: Jeremiah Clemmons, 3rd Place Individual Level for Restaurant and Food Service Management Series; Hayley Roten and Tanner Gatlin, 2nd Place in Financial Services Team Decision Making Series; and Elizabeth Kirby and Chaoyue Yuan, 1st Place in Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making Series. These students went on to compete in the state competition where Roten and Gatlin received 4th place in their division and Kirby and Yuan also received 4th place. These two teams are now competing in the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) held virtually from Anaheim, Calif., this year. National awards will be announced May 6. Also competing in the state’s written project competition were Madeline McCage, Julia Snowden and Andrew McBride.

Each fall, DECA offers four campaigns for chapters to complete as part of their program of leadership for the year. These campaigns are designed to grow membership engagement and build lasting partnerships within the school and local community. Chapters that achieve THRIVE level receive a commemorative pennant, flag and plaque. The Haywood chapter was among 324 chapters that achieved THRIVE level recognition this year and will be commended at DECA’s ICDC. This year, Haywood’s chapter completed the Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign and participated in the community service campaign by submitting entries to the Pumpkin Decorating Contest and collecting canned food – both events supporting our local Carl Perkins Center. The Haywood High school DECA members who contributed to the THRIVE recognition were Andrew McBride, Madeline McCage, Julia Snowden, Elizabeth Kirby and Chaoyue Yuan.

Also recognized at the evening’s program were two students who have earned the DECA Emerging Leader Honor Award. This award recognizes DECA Members studying marketing, finance, hospitality and management while also being an academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leader through their participation in DECA. The award recipient must be a DECA member in his/her senior year of high school with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or better for each of the high school semesters. Receiving this year’s Emerging Leader Honor Awards were Elizabeth Kirby and Chaoyue Yuan.

Serving as Chapter Officers for 2020/2021 year were: Vice President of Social Media and Promotion, Julia Snowden; Vice President of Community Service and Outreach, Madeline McCage; Vice President of Finance and Fundraising, Andrew McBride; Vice President of Advocacy, Tanner Gatlin; First Vice President, Elizabeth Kirby; and Chief Executive Officer and President, Chaoyue Yuan.

Seniors were presented with their honor stoles for graduation.

DECA Advisor, Amy Webb, said, “This has been an extremely challenging year and we have had to be very creative with projects, technology, and deadlines. I want to thank our officers for exhibiting leadership and perseverance this year – and for being a great group of young adults with whom I have enjoyed working. Our students have shown a passion for community involvement and personal development. I am extremely proud of this group of students and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

DECA is a career and technical student organization composed of more than 228,000 students who are interested in careers in marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality or management. DECAS enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition. DECA student members leverage their DECA experience to become academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders. The HHS DECA Chapter Advisors are Amy Webb and Guain Holloman.