PHS DECA Shines Bright

Record-breaking achievements at competitions highlight club’s success.


Submitted by Cheryl Shea

As one of the largest clubs on campus, everyone has heard of DECA, but not everyone understands everything this active club participates in and how much goes into preparing for their annual competitions.  These competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development, and this year the PHS chapter of DECA achieved record-breaking results.

“DECA is an organization about business, marketing, and the business world,” said junior Vinay Sharma. “So we do competitions based on business scenarios.”

During the past school year, members of the team researched, drafted proposals, practiced roleplays during class and after-school and studied hard for their 100-question comprehensive exams, focusing on the different DECA career clusters such as entrepreneurship, management, finance, hospitality and marketing.

“DECA is about competition…but mostly about learning business fundamentals and applying them practically,” said junior Skyyler Teegarden, “So applying everything we’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations is so much fun.”

The Pinnacle High School (PHS) DECA club competed in a few competitions this year, including the a district competition earlier this year and the State Conference in February at the Arizona Grand Resort, where they competed against 1700 of their peers from all over Arizona.

“My favorite part of DECA is meeting many people and making friends. The exploration I’ve been able to do in my future career is enjoyable. I also enjoy the competitions,” senior Janhavi Mehta said.

The State Conference reigns as one of the most significant events for DECA, and 31 PHS winners moved on to the International Career and Development Competition (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida, in April. State was a great success, with 10 PHS students winning first place in their events. 

“We’re going to be leaving on April 21st for the ICDC, and I’m looking forward to it and getting the wealth of knowledge of competing against such knowledgeable competitors at that event,” Teegarden said.

Mehta and Teegarden both agreed that last year’s ICDC in Atlanta, Georgia, was their favorite competition. Likewise, the International competition serves as the ultimate goal and crowning achievement for most involved in DECA.

“I enjoyed ICDC last year because I had never been to Georgia, so it was cool to have that new experience and go somewhere I’d never been,” said Teegarden. “I also really enjoyed State both years because we have our whole chapter. Anyone can go, you do not have to qualify, so I had many friends there to join me.”

The competition in Orlando this year brought more accolades to PHS than ever in the 16-year history of the program on campus. Thirty-one PHS students competed in 28 different events. Ten of those students made it to the awards stage, eight were finalists in the Top 20 of their events and seven earned Role-Playing Medals. Junior Pranathi Arun Senthil won 3rd Place overall in her event, Business Service Marketing Case-study Role-Play, and won the chapter’s only Test Medal by placing in the Top 10 out of 200 entries.

Finally, junior Landon Stone won 1st Place with his 20-page business proposal Independent Entrepreneurship Plan and Teegraden won 1st place for her Apparel and Accessories Case-study role-play category. Both were honored at the Paradise Valley Unified School District Governing Board meeting in May. In fact, Teegarden and Stone brought home the only two International 1st Place awards to Arizona.

“What an amazing feat,” said Marketing teacher and DECA adviser Cheryl Shea. “I’m so proud.”

After a record-breaking year like this past one, PHS looks forward to a bright future for our DECA chapter.