Cove High DECA members qualify for world contest

 In Copperas Cove

As the Copperas Cove High School DECA chapter prepared for virtual state competition, the members were focused on upholding the organization’s reputation. But, Texas is known to be one of the most competitive DECA states in the nation. The pressure of competition was high, but the pressure of upholding tradition was even higher.

The award-winning chapter sent 32 district winners to compete against 5,280 competitors at the 2021 State Career Development Conference. The question was, could the chapter top itself this year and or even do as well as prior years doing the competition virtual? 

For the last 21 years consecutively, the chapter has qualified members for the world contest under the advisement of marketing teacher, Charlotte Heinze.

Brody Sanders, Dayna Ruiz and Zander Patterson

“Advancing to the international competition has become almost an expectation in CCISD and DECA members did not disappoint this year qualifying 27 of its 32 competitors to compete at the international level in April,” Heinze said.  

Of the 5,280 Texas DECA competitors, only roughly 1,100 teams made it to the international level, including Cove high school senior Isabella Dickson. 

“It feels amazing knowing that all of your hard work has finally paid off once your name is called to move on to (International Career Development Conference),” Dickson said. “Though this year’s state competition was different than years past, I can’t explain how proud I am of my group to be able to push though and advance to ICDC. We are excited to compete at the next level and represent not just the state of Texas but my hometown of Copperas Cove.”

DECA prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. In preparation for the annual competitions, students were paired up with local businesses and non-profit organizations to offer solutions or suggestions as a result of business interruption due to COVID-19 to help rebuild customer loyalty and spending.

In addition to advancing two dozen students to the international level, the CCHS DECA Chapter was also awarded the DECA Thrive Chapter Award for having more than 100 members, DECA Promotional Campaign Chapter Award for publicly sharing the purpose and mission of DECA and how the chapter is making a positive impact in the community, and the DECA Community Service Chapter Award for conducting a major service project in the community.

CCHS junior Emma MacDonald advanced with her team in the category of Project Management Career Development Event.

Gavriel Pinkstaff

“I am really proud of my group for persevering despite the challenges COVID-19 has thrown our way,” McDonald said. “I am eager to compete against groups from around the nation, and I can’t wait to bring home some (awards) to Copperas Cove High School DECA.  Additionally, it is an honor to have been elected as our 2021-2022 District V Vice President of Media. I look forward to working with my fellow officers to continue promoting and growing DECA.”

The DECA International Career Development Conference is held in April in California. However, it will be hosted virtually this year with competitors submitting video presentations.