For many high school students, springtime travel means escape, adventure and freedom from schedules and chores and requirements and tests.
But for six Coon Rapids High School students, it meant competition in the International DECA Career Development Conference staged April 23-28 in Anaheim, Calif.
Seniors Laurel Denney, Isaac Rauch, Danny Polaschek, Kate Socha and Stefani Weimholt and junior Gina Palmquist conferenced, conversed and competed with more than 16,500 DECA members from around the world during the conference.
Tests taken, role plays conducted, presentations made, requirements met, qualifications achieved, victory won – all while competing against students from the United States as well as Canada, Germany, Guam, Puerto Rico, Mexico and more.
Socha claimed the highest prize for CRHS when she placed in the top 10 internationally with her test results in professional selling and in the top 10 with her presentation in that same category.
“That puts her number six in the world in professional selling. Quite impressive,” said CRHS DECA coach Blake Bodenburg.
Other CRHS DECA students competed in hospitality services and team decision making and participated in the senior management conference and the leadership development academy.
“This was really a great learning experience … to talk with CEOs, hear their professional history, how they climbed to the top. That was really valuable,” said Rauch.
Weimholt agreed and said that the experience for her “really helped me look at the different perspectives of business.”
All six DECA students called the international conference a highlight of their high school career.
Sue Austreng is at [email protected]