Thirty Maricopa High School DECA students attended the annual Arizona DECA State Career Development Conference On Feb. 26-28. Students faced competition from more than 80 schools and over 2,000 students. Events ranged from Automotive Services Marketing to Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making. MHS DECA earned five test medals (top 10 percent of test takers), five top role play medals, and had eight finalists.
Advisor Bernadette Russoniello was awarded Outstanding Advisor of the Year by Arizona DECA and the Arizona Marketing Education Association. She was nominated by two other marketing teachers in the state.
“It was surprising and very edifying,” said Russoniello, who has been teaching for 16 years but is in only her sixth year of marketing and DECA.
Freya Abraham, ninth grade, earned first place in Principles of Marketing, first place in Sports and Entertainment Operations Research project, a test medal and top role-play medal.
“In our six years, she is the first freshman to do that,” Russoniello said of the double-wins.
Freya will take her 30-page research project onto international competition in April. She set a chapter record with her test score in the district competition and only improved on that in the state conference.
Calling her work impressive and incredible, Russoniello said Freya was the most self-motivated student she has ever advised in DECA.
She will not be the only MHS student competing at the International Career Development Conference April 25-30 in Anaheim, California.
Kyra Morris, 12th grade, was first place in Food Marketing Services at the state conference to earn a spot as well.
Harrison Edmondson, 11th grade, took second place in Hospitality Professional Selling Event and a top role play medal.
Those three students will face over 16,000 top competitors from the United States, Canada and around the world.
Also shining at state, John Spencer, 12th grade, received a test medal, top role play medal and was an event finalist in Quick Serve Restaurant Management.
Adia Carr, 11th grade, and Francheska Fernandez, 12th grade, earned top role medals and were event finalists in Marketing Management.
Ivie Keene, 11th grade, and Joie Guela, 12th grade, were event finalists in Travel and Tourism Management.
Amber Hennigar, 11th grade, Alyssa Hollingsworth, 12th grade, and Elise Brown Thunder, 10th grade, earned test medals.
MHS received the Century Club award, presented to chapters with memberships over 100 students. Juan Carrillo was also honored for his service as Arizona DECA State Officer.