The HWRHS DECA Team pose together on the day of the District Competition.
The HWRHS DECA Team pose together on the day of the District Competition.

DECA District Competitions

On December 13th and 14th, the DECA district competitions occurred at the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers, MA. Over 250 HWRHS students competed. 

DECA is a club found in high schools around the world. It focuses on building transferable skills for college and careers. It teaches students leadership and business skills and prepares them for life after high school. 

By competing with other schools and talking to judges, students get a feel for job interviews and careers, which few high school students can experience before college. 

Although DECA is a club, there is still a cost to participate. It is $100 to be a part of DECA, and students get to go to the district competition and access the DECA+ website, t-shirts, etc. There is also an additional cost of $550 if you would like to attend the state conference. 

At Hamilton Wenham, DECA is very popular. There are over 250 members, which is the 56% of the school. Samantha Nevins, a sophomore at HWRHS, said she does DECA because “it is fun and I get to miss school, but also because it is a great learning experience that prepares teens for the job world.” 

Students spend the first semester preparing for the competition in December. They compete alone or with partners, creating a project or preparing for a role play.

Before competition day, students take a 100-question test based on their category. The results of their test also determine whether they make states or not. 

In a role-play, students get a scenario where they need to solve a problem or create an idea to benefit their company; they have 25 minutes to prepare. For example, in a category like Hospitality, one might be asked to provide ideas to gain more income at a hotel or encourage more people to visit that hotel. 

For projects, there is much more time to prepare. A student will create their project beforehand and present it to a judge on the day of the competition, who will ask questions and give feedback. The top 7 in each category will qualify for the state competition. 

At Hamilton Wenham, 117 students (Grades 9-12) qualified for the state conference. Click here for a list of students and the results. The state conference is in March 2024 and will be held in Boston. 

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