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DECA Club does well at international

The Demopolis High School DECA Club had a good showing at the DECA International Competition, held in Louisville, Ky., on April 24-27.

The competition marked the 17th consecutive year for the DHS DECA Club to take part in the international competition.

Graduating senior Rebecca England and outgoing sophomore Andrew Gwin were among the international finalists in technical sales and had to go through another round of competition.

Gwin finished among the top 10, while England placed among the top 16. There were more than 15,000 students from around the world competing in Louisville.

“Colin Russell, a junior this year, got a medal for his test score in marketing management,” said Lucinda Mason, the DHS club sponsor. “It was really nice to have the students on the stage.”

The Demopolis club got an award for having the largest chapter in Alabama and earned the National Membership Award.

Other DHS students who qualified for international competition were Leanna Parker and Aryn Wilburn in buying and merchandising (team), Morgan Cooper in business services marketing, Kate Boland in advertising campaign and Emily Bedsole in fashion merchandising promotion plan.

“I had to go in and do a sales pitch, trying to sell a GPS system to a customer, which the judge acted as,” said Gwin. “We give a sales pitch on one day, and the next day, we have a written exam. They figure our score, with our presentation counting twice as much, and from that, they call out the top 16.

“You get a yellow ribbon if you get a top test score or a top presentation score, and I had a presentation medal. They give you a blue medal if you are among the top 16, and both of us (England and Gwin) got that. Then, they call up the top 10, and they give trophies to the top three.

“My only goal this year was to get a yellow ribbon,” he said. “I didn’t even expect to move on to the next round! Now, I can say I’m among the top 10 high school sales representatives in the world! It gave me something to build on for the next two years. Next year, I’ll set my goals higher, to try to make it in the top three.”

England was also happy to place among the top 16.

“It feels amazing!” she said. “This is the third time for me to go to internationals, so it feels good to be called to the stage before I graduated.

“DECA has helped me in everything, like Junior Miss, with my interviews, and many other things throughout my high school career! I was so glad that I joined in my freshman year!”

Russell was the only student from Alabama in 2009 to qualify for the finals, earning a yellow medal in that year as well.

“For marketing management, you complete a written exam and then you go on to do two preliminary role plays,” he said. “My medal was in my test this year, and I placed among the top 10 in the nation for my test, so I received a yellow medal.

“I feel like I want to work on getting that blue medal next year and bring home a top three trophy for my senior year next year.”