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The Student News Site of Encinal High School

Horizon News

The Student News Site of Encinal High School

Horizon News

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Jets see success at DECA NorCal conference


On January 12th, 93 Encinal DECA members embarked on a journey to the San Ramon Marriott for the Northern California DECA conference—a three day business extravaganza that would conclude with 39 Encinal DECA members taking the stage. For many, months of preparation preceded this event. DECA members have dedicated their time to practice in marketing class, at home, and in new DECA mock conferences. The chapter organized two mock conferences in the gym as part of its goal to train participants.

“The officers came up with different strategies on how to implement different study habits,” said DECA advisor Derrick Lyons. “But also give those who need more help an opportunity to gain it. A lot of people put it on me as the advisor, but from year to year, it goes to the officer team who this year did well in putting things together to help out new DECA members.”

After arriving and being assigned rooms, DECA participants took a 100-question exam. Later that night DECA members dressed up to attend the opening ceremony. The second day saw students taking part in their role play events, with some also presenting intricate business plans and proposals to judges.

“My favorite part about the trip was definitely trying something new and stepping out of my comfort zone,” Sophomore Adaysia Hernandez said. “I am not a public speaker but I had to do the role plays and talk in front of the judges which was kind of scary, but I was happy that I tried that.”


The conference wasn’t all business. “Seeing people network with each other is one of the most fun parts of these trips for me,” said Mr. Lyons. “To put you guys in a position to be able to communicate and connect with your fellow classmates.”


The final day started with a provided breakfast and concluded with a closing awards ceremony, where 39 Encinal DECA members placed in the top 15, taking to the stage.

Those hoping to attend the state conference must have either gotten stage or obtained at least two 70% marks. For those who fell short, a second opportunity exists. DECA members such as senior Cole Lukens hope to claim one of two open seats on the bus. To do this, he must take a full DECA test and present a role play in front of all six DECA officers. The top two performers will earn an invitation to the state competition in Anaheim, CA.

“The test went great but I didn’t understand some of the terminology in my role plays so I wasn’t able to perform to the best of my abilities,” said Lukens. “I’ve been studying and am ready to do my role play. I am very confident I can make it to state.”

Also studying are those who have already qualified for state. People like senior and Human Resources Management competitor Sesina Haile have plans for success.

“I made a whole docs of all the HRM PIs and definitions and I am going to make a booklet and study that every day until state.”



Congratulations to everyone who competed, staged, and the 12 members who got podium (listed below).

  • ARIANNA ZALDER: Restaurant and Food Service Marketing Role Play 1 3rd Place
  • CATHERINE PRICE & TEAGAN SHANNON: Business Law and Ethics Role Play 1 2nd Place, 3rd Place Overall
  • EMIKO TAKEMOTO: Business Finance Role Play 1 3rd Place
  • ISABELLA XIE: Principles of Finance Role Play 1 1st Place, 1st Place Overall
  • JUSTICE PETERSEN: Entrepreneurship Test 2nd Place
  • LANDON WILLIS: Principles of Marketing Role Play 1 2nd Place
  • MALIA GORDON: Restaurant and Food Service Marketing Role Play 2 2nd Place
  • MAN CHAN: Marketing Communication Test 2nd Place
  • OCTAVIAN YUEN: DECA Knowledge Test 1st Place; Business Finance Test 3rd Place
  • SOLIANA TESFALIDET: Marketing Communication Role Play 1 1st Place
  • SURINA CASTRO: Sports and Entertainment Marketing Role Play 1 3rd Place

“I’m always happy and always excited because you’re being asked to do something that you normally wouldn’t be in the position to do until after high school,” said Mr. Lyons. “To practice different business situations and be put in business situations is always a good thing. I use the saying, I’m always happy, but I’m never satisfied. Knowing that we’re striving for perfection, but know that we’re never going to get there, but always striving to get there.”

About the Contributor
Justice Petersen
Justice Petersen, Managing and Web Editor
Justice is a second year publications staff member. He is class of 2024 and rejoined Horizon because he loves sharing his work with others and wants to make the schools journalism program as great as possible. At school, he is part of the water polo and swim team, he is president of Encinal’s Robotics Club, Vice President of the National Honor Society, a DECA member, and intern in the School Based Health Center.
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