DECA States Conference


Laura Wheeler

Hamilton Wenham DECA students about to go into an awards session

The Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is a very popular business club that has over 225,000 student members worldwide. DECA helps students become more exposed to the business world and gain more experience in communication and creating business and marketing plans. DECA also helps students grow their communication skills, whether it’s with a judge or a new person.

This year is the fourth year that the Hamilton Wenham Regional High School has had a DECA program. Over the four years the club has attracted many students interested in gaining new skills that help them to be more prepared for life. 

According to Hamilton Wenham DECA head advisor, Mrs. Wheeler, many Hamilton Wenham students are “very interested in having a successful future” and she believes that DECA “provides those different opportunities” for students. Students are practicing new skills that can be applied to jobs in the future.

There are many skills that can be learned by being a part of DECA such as “how to be a better presenter, how to network and meet new people, learning how to be a better leader, [and] learning… job skills.” says Wheeler. Those varied skills can lead to students to become more prepared for life after high school and for future jobs.

Over the past weekend the Hamilton Wenham DECA club took 78 members to the Massachusetts DECA State Conference in Boston. The conference consisted of student competition, workshops, awards ceremonies, and spirit activities. The three days were packed full of work, fun, and meeting new people. Although the competitions were stressful for the students involved, Wheeler thinks that “everyone felt pretty confident” going into their role plays and presentations.

For some students, this was their first year going to the States Conference or even being a part of the DECA community. “They were going for the experience. Just getting out of the building, outside of their comfort zone, getting dressed up in professional attire. Trying role plays was really the challenge for them.” Wheeler says.

For other students, this was not the first time for them at the State Conference. Wheeler says that those students “were really looking… to earn the trophy and… move on to the next level.” For them, there was more competition and challenge in doing their role plays or presentation correctly. So they would get a high enough score to move on.

In the end, “some people triumphed and other people [I think] were a little disappointed with the results.” Wheeler says on the end results. Although only a few students qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, everyone gained new skills and learned something new whether it was their first year or not. 

Aside from competitions, Hamilton Wenham DECA also provides opportunities for its members to go listen to guest speakers. The guest speakers speak about their jobs and how it relates to DECA and student experiences in the working force. These speakers provide students opportunities to learn more about certain professions and ask questions about the topics.

 With so many members both worldwide and within the Hamilton Wenham community, DECA gives students the chance to meet and network with new people, which is a necessary skill for anyone who wants to go onto successful colleges and careers in business, marketing or communications.