DECA students take home top honors at states

COURTESY PHOTO | Members of the award-winning DECA teams from Mattituck and Southold high schools at the recent competition.

Southold and Mattituck high schools received top honors at last week’s State Competitive Conference in Rochester, where DECA students’ business skills were put to the test.

More than 1,700 students from across the state competed in either role playing or exams and attended leadership conferences and award ceremonies hosted by the Distributive Education Club of America, known as DECA. The national organization promotes business and marketing skills among high school students.

Among Southold DECA students, Ryan Hanrahan won first place in Visual Advertising for his Folgers Coffee billboard advertisement, Jackie Ruggles won second place in the Decision Making-Human Resources category for a role-playing competition in which a judge acted as the CEO of a corporation and gave her a business problem to solve. Hannah Mathaei won third place in the decision making-human resources role-playing competition after solving a corporation’s human resource problem.

Emily Ciamaricone of Mattituck High School won second place in Public Service: Broadcast Advertising after creating a 60-second TV commercial for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and was a finalist in another competition.

Mattituck’s DECA advisor Lu Anne Nappe was also recognized as the Outstanding Advisor of the Year for preparing students to become leaders and entrepreneurs, ensuring that they’ll be career- and college-ready upon graduation.

Additional finalists among Ms. Nappe’s were Meghan Daly (Public Service: Visual Advertising), Mackenzie Robertson ( Visual Advertising ), Nicholas Tesiny (Decision Making-Human Resources), Andre Vega (Visual Advertising), Kevin Williams (Wholesale Selling), Maisy Claudio ( Job Interview) and Brette Rosen (Public Speaking: Prepared).    Ms. Nappe said her student Nick Tesiny was inducted into the National DECA Honor Society.

In addition to winning three trophies, Southold DECA advisor Kathy Williams said six of her students also placed in the top 10, including Jessica Rizzo (Decision Making-Human Resources), William Tondo (Wholesale Selling), Preston Jolliver (Public Speaking: Extemporaneous), Robert Melly (Broadcast Advertising), Grace O’Donnell (Broadcast Advertising: Public Service) and Ben Glew (Broadcast Advertising: Public Service).

Ms. Williams said students Jackie Ruggles, Sean O’Donnell, Preston Jolliver, Evan Miller and Halle Murphy were also inducted into the National DECA Honor Society.

In addition, both school districts received awards for their participation in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s fundraiser and for increasing enrollment in their respective clubs.

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