From left to right WCCC students competing at DECA state event: Bree Huntington, Nicholas Hamler, Kendra Chase, Marissa Gourley, Addyson Hannold, Sarah Tome, Charles Strickland, David Perry, Ella Bouchard, Samuel Smith, and Rylan Meneo.

Warren County Career Center Students Shine at DECA State Event

March 8, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – Warren County Career Center marketing students had the chance to compete at the DECA State Career Development conference last week, coming away with valuable experience as well as some hardware.

DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) prepares students for careers in marketing finance, hospitality, and management.

At the competition, students were presented with different role-playing scenarios.

“Roleplay is a simulation kind of thing where you’re given a random scenario, and you have 10 minutes to prepare yourself,” said Sarah Tome one of 12 students who went to the competition from WCCC and one of seven to bring home a medal. “And this could be about any of the topics within my category. So for example, I’m in apparel and accessories, so it could be about fashion. It could be about retail selling trends or things like that. You go and you present your items to a judge.

Student Charles Strickland explained how he took part in a job interviewing scenario, filling out an application and going through a mock interview

“The day before we filled out an application,” Strickland explained. “So instead of taking a test, I presented myself in the role play as they call it.”

The students who won medals are as follows:

Tome won all 3 possible medals in “Apparel and Accessories Marketing”
  • High Marketing Cluster Exam
  • High Roleplay A
  • High Roleplay B
Samuel Smith won all 3 possible medals in “Marketing Communications”
  • High Marketing Cluster Exam
  • High Roleplay A
  • High Roleplay B
Nicholas Hamler won all 3 possible medals in “Retail Merchandising”
  • High Marketing Cluster Exam
  • High Roleplay A
  • High Roleplay B

Addyson Hannold and Marissa Gourley combined as a team to win High Roleplay in “Sports and Entertainment Marketing – Team Decision Making”

Bree Huntington won a medal for High Written Score in “Integrated Marketing Campaign – Event”

Kendra Chase won a medal for High Roleplay A in “Entrepreneurship Series Event”

From left to right in medal winners: Bree Huntington, Nicholas Hamler, Marissa Gourley, Addyson Hannold, Sarah Tome, Samuel Smith, Kendra Chase.

“This whole experience was pretty cool,” Tome said. “I plan on going into the fashion industry when I’m older and I’m getting real-world experience to add to my repertoire.”

Strickland also commented on how valuable the whole experience is.

“It gets you more prepared for what you’re going to be doing in the future while educating you throughout the process,” Strickland said. “And it was a lot of fun.”

It also allowed them to not only compete with 2,600 different students throughout the state but connect with those students who share similar values.

“You’ll see kids who are more dedicated and kids who are just there to have fun,” Tome said. “You meet lots of cool people. I have friends I see every time I go and it’s just a lot of fun. It’s a nice feeling when you leave and you feel like you did a good job.”

Added Strickland: “It’s great to meet other people that have very similar passions and interests. Even the stressful parts when you’re in there presenting, it’s a lot of fun. You feel really good about it. The amount of real-life experience and stuff you’ve learned for such a fun experience., it’s amazing.

Advisor Dominick Giannini noted the benefits of getting to apply what the students have learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

“It’s a chance for them to apply. It’s just to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a situation that they don’t have any control over,” Giannini said. “It’s not a controlled environment. They don’t know ahead of time what they’re walking into and the ability to take what they’ve learned and apply it to something that is a borderline real-world situation is something that’s very, very valuable. They did very well. I was actually more stressed than they were.

“I had a lot of fun, they had a lot of fun and I think we all took something valuable away from it that we can use moving forward, academically, professionally, wherever they choose to go after next year as juniors. I think that this is something that they can take with them.”

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