Students from Redmond High School (RHS) brought home three out of seven first place awards given to Washington state competitors at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, April 25-29.
Jamie Hall took first place in the Restaurant & Food Services Marketing category; Landon Sach and Colin Neff won first place in the Travel & Tourism Marketing Team Event; and Andrew Bennett and Morgan Burke won first place in the School Based Enterprise category.
Also representing RHS, Jillian Jaccard took 11th place in Business Service Marketing and Dylan McBride was a subcategory winner for high test score in the Sports & Entertainment Marketing event.
A total of 14 DECA students from RHS were among 14,000 who attended the conference — and Washington had the third largest delegation with 650 competitors. The conference capped a school year in which students had prepared for and competed at area and state levels, completing written tests, business role plays and presentations.
Many DECA students go on to business/marketing careers, but for all participants, the experience fosters leadership, communication and problem-solving skills that will serve them well in any line of work.
Hall explained that for the Restaurant & Food Services Marketing competition, she and others had to come up with quick solutions to challenges that could surface on the job. Students were asked how they’d make a restaurant’s underused balcony space more profitable or how they’d explain to a customer who wanted to order a particular entree, lamb, that the meat was unavailable, due to a recall. It wouldn’t be sufficient to merely state that lamb wasn’t on the menu — they had to explain food safety issues and why the restaurant was bound to comply with the recall.
For the Travel & Tourism Marketing Team Event, Sach and Neff had to role-play as travel agents promoting an Alaskan cruise and name ways they’d build up publicity and a database, such as offering sweepstakes entries, rebates and surveys. In another role-play, they were representatives of a city, trying to increase tourism through a new Web site with maps and entertainment resources.
In the School Based Enterprise category, Burke and Bennett told judges about the student store at RHS and their research to identify “Trends and What’s Hot.” They not only studied what’s currently popular at RHS, but also compiled data about the three top-selling products at other schools in Washington and why buying habits might be influenced by an area’s income level or amount of school spirit.
Besides being honored at the conference’s grand awards ceremony, highlights of the DECA International trip included visits to Six Flags Over Georgia, the Georgia Aquarium and Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles restaurant, where they devoured the house special —maple syrup and all – and “amazing” peach cobbler.
You can show your support for RHS DECA students and orchestra students as they collaborate in a fundraising event, at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 15. There will be live music, and both silent and live auctions with items such as gift baskets, cruise packages and electronics. Admission is $10 per person. For information, contact Grace Brady, DECA advisor at (425) 498-7156 or email@example.com. Redmond High School is located at 17272 NE 104th St.