By Indian Hill High School Senior Emily Singer

It was an early morning departure on Friday, March 15 for 71 Great Oaks/Indian Hill High School DECA students who boarded buses with posters, manuals, and official DECA blazers. Alongside Great Oaks/IHHS marketing teachers Phil Said and Susan Schonauer, the group headed to Columbus to compete against students from all over the state in a variety of marketing events.

“Teamwork was a huge part of DECA for my team,” said IHHS sophomore, Corinne O’Dell. “We both have different strengths, and when we combine them we make a really strong team.”

In the end, the IHHS DECA team impressively placed well with 47 top 10 finishers and 23 international qualifiers; those students will compete in Orlando, Florida during the International Career Development Conference April 27-30.

“This is the second largest group of students in Indian Hill High School history to qualify,” said IHHS teacher Phil Said. “Indian Hill was led by State Champions Lexi Magenheim, Emily Singer, and Connor Morris in Creative Marketing, David Slattery and Lauren Sewell in Financial Management, Corinne O’Dell and Abby Campa in Hospitality, Sophie Sawyers in Hotel and Lodging, and Payton Hoffman in Quick Serve Management.”

The students are part of the Marketing Management and Research program, a satellite program of Great Oaks Career Campuses held at Indian Hill High School.

The events ranged from 20-page papers, to role plays, to presentations. By testing many different “real-world” marketing skills, DECA allows students to take a glance into their potential future careers. Skills like working together, problem-solving, planning, and analysis are key parts to success at the competitions.

“DECA was one of my favorite weekends from senior year, and I am so excited for the opportunity to compete at ICDC,” said IHHS Senior Payton Hoffman. “I am really happy so many younger students will get to experience this as well.”

The state results from Great Oaks/IHHS:

  • State Champions (qualify for international competition):
  • Payton Hoffman, Quick Serve Management
  • Sophie Sawyers, Hotel and Lodging Management
  • Lauren Sewell and David Slattery, Financial Analysis Team
  • Abby Campa and Corrine O’Dell, Hospitality Team
  • Lexi Magenheim, Connor Morris, Emily Singer; Creative Marketing Project

2nd place (qualify for international competition):

  • Morgan Coburn and David Heilbrunn, Hospitality Team
  • Nick Bulas, Apparel and Accessories Management

3rd place (qualify for international competition):

  • Mansai Singh, Retail Management
  • Max Ruschau, Sports and Entertainment Management
  • Liz Woods, Human Resources

4th place ((qualify for international competition):

  • Margo David and Mary James, Integrated Marketing Communications Event Campaign
  • Madeline Major and Merritt McMullen, Financial Literacy Promotion
  • Saskia Gobanya, Anne Whaley, Tara Keenan; Sports Operations Research

Other Top 10 Finishers:

  • Vandita Rastogi, Principles of Hospitality
  • Krew Verratti, Sports and Entertainment Management
  • Lily Zucker, Entrepreneurship
  • Cole Werbrich, Automotive Management
  • Annie Joy, Principles of Finance
  • Kelsie Dreisbach and Elizabeth Whaley, Travel and Tourism Management
  • Brian Lewis and Zander Johnston, Business Law and Ethics
  • Anna Podojil and Wesley Alspaugh, Integrated Marketing Communications Service Campaign
  • Nick Gillan, Integrated Marketing Communications Event Campaign
  • Sarah Stephens, Professional Selling
  • Radu Dragamirescu and Ingrid Ackerman, Business Growth Plan
  • Elizabeth Saba, Franchise Business Plan
  • Chris Neumann andTyler Johnson, Independent Business Plan
  • Jessica Logeman and Ella Otterman, Buying and Merchandising Research Plan
  • Graham Wyler, Bryn Wirthlin, Riley Holt; Community Service Project

Over 18,000 students will attend the International Career Development Conference.  All the competitors take a written 100-question multiple-choice test on marketing concepts and perform an impromptu role-play situation.  The situations may cover human relations, problem solving, selling, promotion, economic concepts, management decision making, pricing, product development, product planning, marketing strategies, customer service problem solving or a combination of the above.

DECA is an association of high school marketing students with an interest in pursuing careers in marketing and management.