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Demopolis DECA ready for Louisville

Members of the Demopolis High School DECA Club are making their final preparations before competing in international competition. This marks the 17th consecutive year for Demopolis High School to compete at the international level of DECA.

Eight DHS students qualified for international competition by placing among the top three at the state competition in Montgomery on Feb. 15-16. The international competition will be held April 24-27 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

The eight who qualified were state champions Leanna Parker and Aryn Wilburn in buying and merchandising (team), Morgan Cooper in business services marketing and Andrew Gwin in technical sales; state second-place winners Rebecca England in technical sales and Kate Boland in advertising campaign; and state third-place winner Emily Bedsole in fashion merchandising promotion plan.

Russell qualified for the final round last year in the multiple marketing series event, the only student from the state of Alabama to qualify for the finals at the 2009 international competition in Anaheim, Calif.

“Saturday night begins the conference,” said DECA advisor Lucinda Mason. “On Sunday and Monday, they will be in the preliminaries. On Sunday, those who did a manual will turn them in, take the test if they are in a test event and get their instructions for Monday. On Monday, they will make their presentation if they have a presentation event or they will role-play if they are in a series event. Then, early Tuesday morning, we find out who is in the finals.

“If they are in the finals, they immediately go and participate in the finals. Tuesday night is the closing awards session, and that’s when we find out if we have any winners. Wednesday is our travel day home.”

Mason estimated that 15,000 students from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam and Germany will compete at the international competition, with about 200 students competing in each event.

DECA — which at one time stood for Distributive Education Clubs of America but now goes solely by its acronym — is an organization with the goal to improve education and opportunities for students interested in careers in marketing, management and entrepreneurship.