The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

DECA Team Reaching Higher Heights


Skyline High School’s DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) team won “Chapter of the Year” in the annual regional DECA competition on February 22 and 23. DECA is a Career and Technical Student Organization, or CTSO. They offer after-school extracurricular activities that give students the qualities and skills to help them become successful after high school. DECA is one of Skyline’s business clubs, the other being Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). 

  DECA’s recent competition took place at the Davis County Convention Center, hosting schools from all over Utah for the event. Unlike sports, which split schools into conferences, DECA includes every single school that chooses to compete. There are over 400 schools in Utah, bringing some immense competition to these events. DECA teacher Sydney Lott said, “It’s really really competitive. We go against some of the biggest schools in Utah—those are all the best schools.” Because of the DECA team’s success at State, they have been invited to California for The International Conference of DECA Chapters in April. 

Competitions are split into three different types: written, role-play, and chapter. Written events are when students have to prepare a 10-20 paged document on an idea, like a marketing campaign or business startup idea. Role-play events include a test and a discussion with a judge on a given topic, which students receive upon arrival. Role-play events can either be done alone or as a partnership. Lastly, there are chapter events, which are competitions with an individual chapter or school. Chapter events include different categories that students get to choose to compete in. It may seem overwhelming, but DECA State President Monica Cinbis said, “The competitions in general are really fun because DECA tries hard to make them super hype.”

Plenty of preparation went into Skyline’s success this year at the DECA competition. As with any sport or club, practice is key. Technology Vice President Jenna Tran said, “The number one way I prepare for competitions is through practice, practice, and more practice. When preparing for a role-play, getting comfortable with the format is critical, as judges want to see you—it’s difficult to show off who you are if you’re unfamiliar with the event. As for written events, really knowing what you’re talking about and understanding common business practices will take you a long way.” As important as practice is, being true to who you are is just as important. Tran continued, “In the end, as cheesy as it sounds, confidence is key. I prepare for competitions by remembering one thing: be confident, be ready, and be myself!”

Even with all of the preparation, competition can be difficult. While speaking to a judge, nerves can set in and derail an entire presentation. Cinbis said, “The hardest part of competitions is the nerves you get right before presenting. The best way to prepare for this is to practice a lot before you present. Make sure the script you prepared is ingrained so you don’t choke. Also knowing what you’re talking about is important, so if you do forget you can improvise.”

Aside from winning competitions, DECA students receive skills that will benefit them throughout life, preparing them for a career in business and making them more confident. Tran said, “Some skills I have developed are public speaking, problem-solving, and creativity. These skills will greatly help my future career, as I will both know about and be experienced in business relations.” Cinbis adds, “I think that the most beneficial skills to gain from DECA are the ability to think on your feet and present well. Sometimes you get prompts or questions you’re not prepared for, but you have to sound confident when you handle them.”

While students gain many beneficial soft skills, they also get the chance to meet people who share a common interest from across the country. Cinbis said, “The thing I enjoy most of all is the people you get to meet. Last year, I met a bunch of people from Kentucky who were amazing, and this year I’ll get the chance to meet people from all 50 states!” Tran also mentioned how many friends she has made during her time with DECA. 

Starting at the beginning of the year, DECA has its doors open to any Skyline student who wants to join. The team meets every Tuesday and Thursday in room 146 to prepare for future competitions. At practice, the team learns everything they need to be “Chapter of the Year” material. Lott said, “We teach people how to do the role-plays, how to speak to people, how to organize your thoughts, [and] how to take your thoughts and be able to present them in a way that makes sense. Then we discuss the curriculum stuff, we go through flashcards and slideshows… and then we also do practice tests where we talk about why the answers are the way they are for the different tests. And just kind of get you more comfortable… then you can take it as far as you want.”

Students who join DECA gain more than just wins: they gain experiences that will last a lifetime. Tran states, “It may be scary or intimidating at first, but the community is so incredibly welcoming. It’s never too late to start! DECA isn’t about the competitions, it’s about personal development and becoming the best you possible!”

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About the Contributor
Baylee Burbidge, Sports and Feature Editor
Baylee Burbidge is a Sophomore at Skyline High School and is excited to improve her writing skills through the Horizon. Baylee has enjoyed writing her whole life and has won many writing competitions in elementary and middle school. Baylee plays soccer competitively and hopes to continue playing in college.

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