CCHS DECA students advance to state contest

 In Copperas Cove

As businesses were forced to close during the pandemic, some reopened at 25 percent, up to 75 percent, back down to 50 percent as the roller coaster continued. Copperas Cove High School DECA members worked with local businesses to solutions to these real-world challenges and the perseverance paid off.

Thirty-three students of 35 competitors from the Copperas Cove High School DECA Chapter advanced to the state competition after winning the District V DECA virtual contest against students from 22 high school across the region. From a total of 1,193 student competitors, 546 advanced to the Texas contest with state winners announced in March.

DECA CCHS adviser Charlotte Heinze said that is has been one of the most challenging years the students have endured with all the unknowns and changes.

“The students were a little hesitant with the virtual process.  The entire process was very impersonal, they would much prefer the face-to-face interaction,” Heinze said. “Despite the challenges, the students maintained their determination and professionalism to bring home multiple wins to CCISD. As always, we feel the pain of those (students) that did not advance. But, District V is known to be one of the toughest competitions in the state.”

CCHS DECA Vice President and third year competitor Emma MacDonald was elected as the District V Vice President.

“This year was different for sure and nothing I would have ever expected,” MacDonald said. “But, I think it taught me more than any other year I have competed. I have learned how to adapt to the obstacles life throws my way.  I am eager to see what else this crazy year has in store.”

It has already been determined that the state contest will also be held virtually. CCHS DECA Chapter President Russel Cochran has competed at the state level previously and placed in the top 10 at the International DECA Conference.

“I’m looking forward to the competitiveness from all of the 11 districts’ winners,” Cochran said. “Competing with other students my age that have the same passion I do is really motivating and the experience is one of a lifetime.”

DECA students select various projects that improve the economic status of local businesses and/or improve the quality of life in their communities. Winners in the Project Management

Career Development category, Macdonald, Cochran and McKenzie Agnello, worked with the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce to help local entrepreneurs fight the effects COVID had on their small businesses.

“We strongly believe in the impact that our local businesses have on Copperas Cove. Local businesses are responsible for a lot of our economic impact, expansion and community togetherness,” Agnello said. “Local businesses serve a role beyond the economic factors. They serve as loyal community members who are hardworking and that mostly go unnoticed by our fellow citizens.”

More than 8,500 high school students compete in March for a place on the Texas DECA team and compete at the International Career Develop Conference in April.