NAHS DECA Sets to Keep Business Booming in Atlanta Competition


Wayne Young, Staff Writer

Our NAHS DECA team is traveling to Atlanta, Georgia to compete against the best of the best in the International Conference, ICDC, on Friday, April 22. The NAHS DECA team is accustomed to the shining spotlight, proving that with the strong placements multiple years prior. Out of those in NAHS DECA,  three contestants, senior Amy Saldivar, senior Layla Chaaraoui, and freshman Lily Hernandez, have made it to the qualifying positions. Considering so few qualify, the honor of participating in this DECA competition is tremendously high.

DECA was established in 1946 and focuses on how it can help refine students’ choices about college and/or career readiness in the fields of Finance, Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing using real-life experiences in the workforce and letting the students apply themselves in the situation. And, for the past 50 years, NAHS has been displaying those skills so well that other participating schools were impressed by our immense progress.

“People at one point actually thought that NAHS was a private school because we were doing THAT successful at the national conferences,” said John Shaw, the DECA advisor. “My kids have good business skills. It’s what they do.”

Of course, the competition will only progressively grow more and more difficult in the upcoming years. In fact, some schools don’t even come close to participating in Internationals for DECA, since this event is that competitive. So, having our own place amongst the 2000+ contestants in this tournament is extraordinary. It is expected, however, with the amount of prep the team puts in, not to mention the aptitude for business they all have.

 “I have them do millions of practice tests and sample roleplays to help them famaliarize themselves with the content and the terminology,” said Shaw. “I found that to be the best way for students to be successful.” 

With this huge event knocking at the door, Chaaraoui, the co-president of DECA, and her partner, Saldivar, are both absolutely ready for what’s to come. 

“I definitely feel ready and prepared for DECA ICDC,” said Chaaraoui. “Mr. Shaw has given us test-taking material, practice role-plays, and my entrepreneurship partner, Amy, and I have practiced a lot through our various competitions. I think we are both ready to do really well. It will be a new and exciting experience for us and I’m happy that we finally get to go considering COVID has interrupted our plans these past couple years.” 

After coming this far, through all the competitions prior to ICDC, NAHS hopes the DECA team will have no problem dominating the international conference as well!