Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Last year’s Sparta DECA members pictured at the State competition are, front row, from left Amanda Jaeger, Vanessa GAvilan, Rianna Knoll and Naomi Noble. Back row, from left is Jacob Burke, Caroline Olson, Austin Erickson, Callie Ziebell, Sam Parent and Abby Schaitel. Contributed photo.

Virtual DECA week scheduled for Nov. 16-20

The year 2020 has been a bizarre year for everyone and the Sparta High School DECA Chapter is no exception. After competitions and meetings were cancelled earlier this year, the club is trying it’s best to find ways to remain active and promote all of the benefits of participating in DECA. 

Sparta DECA will be hosting a virtual DECA week November 16-20 to promote the club and later this year, club members will be able to participate in competitions virtually.

Sparta DECA prepares local students hoping to become future leaders and/or entrepreneurs for secondary education and careers in areas of finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, business management and administration as well as hospitality and tourism. 

Through DECA, students acquire many skills desired by today’s employers such as communication, innovation, critical thinking, adaptability, initiative, responsibility, productivity and more.

In early March 2020, DECA members got the opportunity to participate at the state competition in Lake Geneva with five members qualifying to compete at nationals, however, the competition was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Advisor Jamie Adams.

Last year’s competition participants include:

• Jacob Burke in a team event with Austin Erickson - Travel & Tourism Team Decision Making.

•Austin Erickson and Jacob Burke - School Based Enterprise, sixth place. 

• Vanessa Gavilan - medaled in Principles of Business Management and Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling.

• Amanda Jaeger - Business Finance and Financial Consulting.

• Rianna Knoll - Placed in top 10 for Economic Test, third place in Professional Selling and Entrepreneurship Series.

• Naomi Noble - medaled in Quick Serve Restaurant Management Series and Sales Project; DECA Cards.

• Caroline Olson - Sales Project; DECA Cards and Accounting Applications Series.

• Sam Parent - Principles of Hospitality/Tourism and Financial Consulting.

• Abby Schaitel - Automotive Services Marketing Series and Integrated Marketing Campaign for her parent’s business.

• Callie Ziebell - Human Resource Management, medaled Chapter Gold in Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling.

Of last year’s participants, Ziebell, Olson, Noble, Knoll and Erickson all would have been going to participate in the national competition in Nashville, TN.

Adams usually has 60 to 70 students participate in DECA every year. This year however, Adams says she only has about 20 members signed up.

For Sparta DECA Week 2020, the club members will be hosting a variety of different activities including dress up days. Monday, Nov. 16 will be Robe and Slippers Day, Tuesday will be Tie-dye Day, Wednesday will be DECA blue and gold day, Thursday is Zoom Day with professional attire on top and casual on the bottom and Friday is Flannel Day. 

Make sure to post outfits on social media and use the hashtag #Spartadecadays and tag the club @spartadeca. For more details and updates throughout the week, follow Sparta DECA on Facebook and Instagram.

Adams is trying hard to make sure that her kids participating in DECA this year have as similar as possible of an experience to years past as she believes in the importance of DECA and all of the valuable skills the students learn from their experiences with DECA. 

“I am always blessed with such good kids,” Adams said. “They are such wonderful kids to work with and they learn so much.” 

Adams even raves about her Sparta DECA Alumni, including Brennon Burkhardt, who graduated with SHS Class of 2018. He is currently studying at University of Wisconsin - Stout to become a DECA Marketing teacher.

Burkhardt also recently received an award from the Wisconsin Marketing Education Association as an emerging marketing teacher.

Sparta DECA Alumni Jackie Page, a former DECA State Officer and 2016 SHS graduate, is still working as a mentor with Wisconsin DECA State Officers.

As of right now, for the first time in roughly 30 years, the Sparta DECA Club will not be selling 2021 DECA cards, which is its main source of fundraising.

“I personally didn’t want to ask local businesses to put a discount on a card when a lot of them are struggling right now,” Adams said. “I couldn’t meet with the kids and I want the community to know that it’s the kids that organize and put the card together.”

Adams said club members learn so much from contacting businesses and putting the cards together every year. If and when things change, the club might still put the DECA cards together in the spring. 

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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