18 DECA members qualify for Internationals in Orlando

On Feb. 27 DECA traveled to Southeast Polk High School to compete in State DECA with adviser Mike Hansel, and 18 qualified for the international competition in Orlando in May.

Senior Megan Anton is one of the International DECA Qualifiers. Some qualified individually, some in a two-person team and some in a group. Anton’s event is Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making and her teammate is Lainey Schreiber.

She said, “There are some nerves before we go to present in front of the judge, but it isn’t that bad. Having a teammate to present with definitely helps.” 

To get to the state competition at Southeast Polk, DECA members had to qualify at Districts in Waverly a couple of weeks before State.

Anton said Internationals in Orlando “is a very large-scale conference where people across the United States and a few other countries attend. It is structured similarly to the State competition because you still take an exam and have a case study to prepare for, but it is in a more fun location with many activities to enjoy.” 

To pay for the trip Anton said, “We do a lot of fundraising that helps to lower the cost, but you do have to pay part of the cost to get there. I believe scholarships are available if needed. I was excited to get to go again.”

Adviser Mike Hansel said he was anxious before the state competition, especially for “those who have done it before and are looking forward to going to Internationals in Orlando. It just makes me nervous and wanting them to make it to Internationals.” 

He and two other business teachers work to prepare the DECA members for the contests. “So what Mrs.Cuvelier, Mr. Girling and I will help them with role plays if they want, and then online they have some old tests that they can study from online that way too. They get some practice time and compete at Districts in Waverly, and that’s practice for them.” 

Hansel said, “Last year Anna and Aroki were called up to stage, which is a big deal at Internationals. They then were told that they had to report to their final role play to compete again. They did that and then their names were called up again and they had placed ninth overall.”

He said, “It was so exciting. The cool thing was they were sitting there, and I was sitting with them. They were kinda preparing what they wanted to do ahead of getting their role play, and they asked me, ‘Well, Mr.Hansel, who else from Iowa made Finals, and I said I’m looking at the only two.’ I don’t think they realized how big of a deal it really was. That’s kinda the excitement. and I was so proud of what they did.”

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