DECA Marketing students from Central, Benton and Lafayette joined more than 2,000 high school marketing students and their teachers who gathered March 24, 25 and 26 for the 71st annual Missouri DECA State Career Development Conference at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The conference was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

DECA is an international association of high school students studying marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Missouri DECA has more than 7,900 members and 150 chapters across the state.

During the statewide conference, DECA members were evaluated by more than 150 business and industry professionals who served as competitive event judges. Students who participated in the competition solved realistic workplace problems through one-on-one interaction with an executive or community member.

Students participated in individual or team events, business operations research projects and entrepreneurship projects. Event criteria were aligned with national curriculum standards.

Central High School results are as follows:

Management teams:

First place: Business law and ethics management team — Keerat Athwal and Jenna Cripe.

Written project presentation:

Second place: Sports and entertainment marketing operations research — Sam Moore and Michael Tieman.

Medalists: Business services operations research- Colten Joseph and Patrick Nguyen.

Medalists: Entrepreneurship promotion project — Scott Le and Mehreen Tai.

Medalist: Public relations project — Ashlyn Bardo.

Individual events:

Fourth place: Principles of finance — Daniel Love.

Medalist: Food marketing series — Ian McCarthy.

Keerat Athwal, Jenna Cripe, Daniel Love, Ian McCarthy, Sam Moore and Michael Tieman represented Central High School and Missouri at the International DECA competition in Orlando in late April.

Also competing at the conference were Central students Lucas Anderson, Jasmin Baltzar, Nathan Barry, Sam Carillo, Thad Chapman, Jack Corcoran, Gaige Cox, Matthew Davis, Mason Eaton, Luke Ensign, Ansh Gupta, Zach Hayes, Hailey Hoefling, Cole Hopkins, Randall Johnson, Caleb Keling, Blake King, TJ Larson, Grayson Matthews, Lexi Meier, Clayton Mikesch, Shoab Nazar, Tyler Orth, Tristan Pritchett, Katelyn Sample, Graham Stagner, Alex Steward, Anser Tai, Julie Tovar, Zach Whittington-Ryberg, Joseph Zaithanmawia and Kayla Zook.

Central High School DECA sponsors are Lisa Beavers and Melissa Richie.

Benton students who competed included Mariah DeSpain, Sydney Johnson, Ashleigh McClurg, Camden Losson, Payton Dixon and Taten Piepergerdes.

Benton High School DECA sponsors are Ebeny Smith and Joey Hendrix.

Lafayette’s participating students included Avery Sumner, Baylee Hoffman, Camden Rucker, Cara Adams, Caroline Ruden, Ciah Rucker, Ethan Lowe, Gracie Szensy, Gradey Herring, Jociah White, Kaycia Williamson, Kayla Cordonnier, Luke Whisenand, Nic Johnson, Preston Bowers, Rhyanan Beaman, Sydney Flowers, Tanner Bechtold, Tarrin Deayon and Taryn Weed.

Lafayette High School DECA sponsors are Theresa Paolillo, Amy Ryan and Hilary Salanky.