The Grayson County Chapter of DECA (an Association of Marketing Students) is celebrating Kentucky DECA Month during November.
This year’s officer action team is: Zach Lashley, President; Ashley Clemons, Vice President; Mallory Thomas, VP of Membership; Wyatt Jaggers, VP of Communication; Noah Cummings, VP of Charitable Causes; Shelbi Pendergest, VP of Activities; Kevin Wilson, Secretary; Blake Davis, Treasurer; and Jessica Robinson, Reporter.
DECA enriches the co-curricular education of members with a comprehensive, integrated learning program that combines classroom instruction, applied learning, business knowledge and skills, and competition.
DECA competition is held at three levels—regional, state and international. Each provides a progressive opportunity for participants to showcase their talents and abilities, as well as interact with business professionals in real-world scenarios. Students may choose from some 35 marketing fields for competition. All events are designed to meet the needs of today’s global world and as a result, several new team-oriented events have been added.
GCHS DECA is very proud that six members received medals at the 2015 national conference in Orlando. Hannah Ashley, Jessica Hughes, and Alexis Schmidt were recognized for their outstanding performance in the community service event representing autism. Noah Cummings, Zach Lashley, and Mady Wieland were awarded for their outstanding performance in the community service event representing MDA. Overall, GCHS DECA had 11 of their 16 competitors receive Certificates of Excellence, a tremendous achievement.
In addition, Ashton Filburn was elected to serve as Central Region Vice President (CRVP). This is only the third time that Kentucky has had a national officer and the second CRVP for Grayson County DECA.
DECA’s mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management fields. Its activities help prepare students academically, and become community-oriented, professionally responsible and experienced leaders. DECA’s values and priorities include competence, innovation, integrity, and teamwork, and many opportunities are available to develop these.
Community involvement is a strong component of the DECA learning program as students develop a sense of service, and these young people are genuinely glad to offer their help. Just this school year, GCHS DECA has raised more than $4,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Since 1997, the local chapter has donated nearly $92,000 to MDA, and thanks to student efforts and tremendous community support.
DECA is excited to be working with both of our community’s tourism groups to show the positive activities we have in our area. One of these is Friday Night Family Movie Nights, which the group is helping to promote. The next event nights are coming up October 30 at the Babe Ruth Field, “drive-in” style on November 13 at the Centre on Main, and December 18 inside the Centre.
DECA is also assisting with a Rook Tournament, November 14 at the Centre on Main. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and play begins at 9 a.m. Cost is $20 per team and a new unopened deck of Rook cards. Concessions will be available, and play will be conducted by the same rules as used at the annual Rough River State Resort Park Rook tournament.
DECA members are giving of themselves to many other projects again this year. “Unite to Serve” will bring together the Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO’s) with community education, the GCHS/Lawler FYRSC, and Grayson County Public Library to host a literacy education project for Caneyville, Wilkey, and Lawler Elementary schools. This year’s book, Double Fudge, focuses on careers, and we will provide activities for students as well as educational materials for parents to help them promote reading at home.
DECA is considered co-curricular since students use concepts learned in class throughout their DECA experiences. This is certainly evident as members participate in another of DECA’s community service events to promote Autism awareness. Beaded bracelets are available for purchase at only $3, or they can be made individually, with proceeds benefitting the Grayson County Beading for Autism organization.
Students plan, implement and adjust marketing strategies throughout the program. They also learn about customer service, promotion, finances, work ethic, and team work. The beaded bracelets are made in just a few minutes and will be available Dec. 5 at a Christmas Bazaar at The Centre on Main. Just this school year, the groups has recorded profit of more than $6,200. Since 2011, GCHS DECA has raised nearly $32,000 for the Michala Riggle Beading to Beat Autism Foundation. Bracelets will also be available at other community and school events.
DECA’s Learn and Earn team displays the care and compassion of members by making and selling window “hope” decals, along with various styles of t-shirts and sweatshirts to raise money for Chailey Maples, a freshman students battling leukemia. All proceeds raised from the sale of these items will go to help Maples’ family with medical expenses. Orders can be placed by email through firstname.lastname@example.org or Haley Dockery at 270-287-1266.
An additional major community service activity will teach financial literacy to students in the district’s elementary schools, middle school, high school, and to adults in cooperation with adult education and the Grayson County Extension Office. Financial literacy is important for students and adults to understand in order to make wise, sound investment and spending choices. Marketing students are developing lessons that fit these basic financial themes and integrating them within each grade’s economic content. The time they spend teaching the lessons will help students learn the importance of basic money management, and its importance to their future.
DECA advisors are Cynthia Smith, Gavin Logsdon, and Tony Embry, who are all happy to answer inquiries about Marketing Education and DECA. They can be reached at the Grayson County Technology Center, 270-259-3195, or Grayson County High School, 270-259-4078. DECA Booster membership is open to anyone with an interest in marketing education and helping students succeed. Contact Booster President Robin Lashley for more information at 270-868-0089. DECA boosters meet the third Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. in room 68 of the Technology Center.
DECA genuinely appreciates and thanks all the businesses, organizations and individuals who support Marketing Education and DECA. Their continued energy enhances the educational, social, civic, and leadership skills acquired through the various classroom and chapter activities.