DECA Decks Out At Districts


Tiffani Vasquez

Winners onstage after the award ceremony, taken by Ms. Tiffani Vasquez.

Abby Burtner, Sports Editor

Just last Wednesday, Forge’s DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) had 12 students advance to the State Leadership Conference, 17 students get called on stage, and 26 compete in the District Leadership Conference against fellow high schools. There were 37 competitors this year, which was a big step-up from last years 17.

DECA is a program dedicated to furthering the experience of competing among students in order to form marketing, business, and leadership skills. The program claims that the opportunities created give students an “unmistakable advantage” when it comes to applying for further education.

During Power Hour, the club members had been going over foundational principles of marketing in order to prepare. The preparations are typically roleplay preparations, as the leaders who have been in the organization since freshman year mimic what to do during the roleplay situations (marketing situations, questions judges may ask, how to make a good impression, etc.) and familiarize the news students with the performance indicators in the particular roleplays.

The competitions generally consist of Principle events (principles of marketing, hospitality, tourism, etc.) for first years, Virginia series only events for freshman only (social media, job interviews, etc.) and individual series events (apparel and accessories marketing, automotive marketing, and sport & entertainment marketing.)

The competitions/conferences are made to evaluate students’ capability to implement and demonstrate their abilities in assessing situations surrounding business related sectors like entrepreneurship, hospitality, finance, etc.

“The categories are very broad and there’s a lot of variety, so it helps to prepare them for real life situations” Ms. Tiffani Vasquez, sponsor of the DECA Club, said.

As far as a student’s point of view, Lindsay Lee (’26) had the experience of competing in a conference for the first time and placing as well.

“There were a lot of people there but I didn’t feel nervous or pressured at all, because I’m a freshman and I figured I would have more opportunities in the future. It was my first time so I had no idea what I was doing. I just had fun in my conversation with the judge, and pretended like I knew what I was talking about” Lindsay Lee (‘26), First Place Social Media, said.

The students who advanced to States will compete in March.


Overall Winners going to states:

Lindsay Lee (’26)- 1st Place Social Media

Evelyn Detar (’24)- 2nd Place in Exam, Role Play and Overall

Avery Hartenstein (’23)- 3rd Place in Role Play and Overall

Charlotte Vorder Bruegge (’24)- 2nd Place Role Play and Overall

Rachel Basoah Sarfo (’24)- 3rd Place Exam and Overall

Caroline Ames (’23)- 1st in Exam, 2nd in Role Play, 1st Overall

Zoe Battle (’23)- 1st Place Role Play, 2nd Overall

Kyle Nguyen (’23)- 1st Place Exam, 2nd Place Role Play, 1st Overall

Pranav Vedula (’26)- 1st Place Exam, 3rd Place Role Play, 2nd Overall

Abigail Chau (’25) – 3rd Place Exam and Role Play, 2nd Overall

Ezra Jackson (’23)- 3rd Place Exam, 2nd Place Role Play, 2nd Overall

Yashaswi Sunkara (’23) – 1st Exam, 1st Role Play, 1st Overall

Jaseigha Barthell (’23)- 3rd Overall