Valor DECA Prepares Leaders to Transform the World for Christ

Charged with creating a marketing plan for a fictitious apparel company’s loyalty program, Juliana Carpinelli ‘21 and Morgan Schmid ‘21 were instructed to present their business plan to their boss for allowing gift cards to be used at competitors’ stores during the Legend Titan DECA Invitational on October 26. Students were given a business scenario in one of 25 different business categories and asked to develop solutions for the scenario. The Titan DECA competition was the first-ever virtual competition in the nation with 51 Valor students competing in and doing very well, resulting in eight champions named.

Juliana and her group presented at the 2020 DECA state championships.

Bringing a smile to someone’s face through a hello or building a friendship with a fellow competitor, is only the icing on the cake in how DECA prepares Valor students in becoming leaders for Christ. “Mr. Dave Haar, DECA advisor, has been a mentor to me in how to share my faith, which has helped me grow,” says Morgan. “Valor’s DECA is not all about winning and competing, but building relationships that come from having a foundation in Christ.”

Valor’s DECA program – led by teachers David Haar and Amy Gutschick – prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for a future in various fields such as marketing, hospitality and management. “DECA gives students a set of vigorous and relevant experiences that provide a competitive advantage upon entering university or a career after Valor,” says Mr. Haar. “My personal goal is to allow students to succeed beyond their perceived level of potential.”

Bridging business skill development and competition with a sense of community and belonging is where DECA students find their niche. “I met my best friends and got to know people from other schools,” says Juliana, who got involved in DECA to meet new people and make her support circle bigger. “The highlight is the relationships I have made,” she explains. “I am having so much fun being together with my teammates at competitions.”

Valor DECA is the largest club in the school and students can find a place to belong, whether they are competitive or not, or pursuing a business career or not. “These are life skills- soft skills- that will serve students well no matter what their career”, says Morgan, the club’s co-president.

Congratulations to the following students who placed in Valor DECA’s October 26 Competition:

Catelyn Tankersley – 1st Marketing Communications Event

Sydney Martin – 1st Retail Merchandising Event

McKenzie Jones – 1st Hospitality Professional Selling Event

Makenzi Johnson – 1st Sports and Entertainment Event

Anthony Curcio and Anapaula Floyd – 1st Marketing Management Team Event

Bella Shotnik and Anna Nordlander – 1st Travel and Tourism Team Event

Matthew Solimene – 2nd Marketing Communications Event

Carter Morgan and TJ Meyn – 3rd Buying and Merchandising Team Event

Kaitlyn Barrett – 3rd Personal Financial Literacy

Ashleigh Anema – 3rd Food Marketing Event

Taylor Ladwig – 4th Marketing Communications Event

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