DECA’s Stellar Students Set Sites on National Conference Next Week

Clarke County High School’s high achieving DECA team was recently honored by the Clarke County School Board. In addition to grabbing this year’s state championship, CCHS’s DECA chapter established a new record for awards in a single year. The CCHS students established the new high-water mark while competing against 2,500 individual participants.

Student representatives of CCHS's state champion DECA team told the Clarke County School Board "We are the best in the state of Virginia!" - Photo Edward Leonard

“We are the best in the state of Virginia,” student school board representative and DECA member Adam King told the Clarke County School Board.

DECA members Daniel Judge- this year’s Virginia chapter president-elect, Katie O’Donnell, Katlyn Mercke, Adam King, and Chris Smalley represented the DECA team at a recent school board meeting to describe the many awards and accomplishments that their group achieved during the present academic year.

DECA’s mission is preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

DECA academic advisors Robin Eddy and Mary Elson told the school board that it was an honor for Clarke’s DECA team to have so many members elected as state chapter officers.

“Virginia has the largest DECA association in the world with over 14,000 members,” Eddy told the school board. “20 of our students were elected as DECA officers.”

Daniel Judge’s election as Virginia chapter president marks the third year in a row for Clarke County to field the DECA’s state president.

With CCHS’s stellar performance at the state level, the team now sets its sites on DECA’s national competition next week.

The DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) is the highlight of the DECA year. This year’s event is projected include fourteen thousand high school students, advisors, businesspersons and alumni. Most participants at ICDC compete in one of DECA’s competitive events. The top competitors in each event are recognized for their outstanding achievements. In addition to the competitive events, many students and advisors participate in a variety of leadership and career advancing academies.

“ICDC will be a wonderful experience for the team,” said Eddy.

“We’re very proud of both you and your sponsors,” said school board chairperson Barbara Lee (Pine Grove).

DECA’s International Career Development will be held from April 30 through May 3 in Orlando, Florida.




  1. Denise Enger says:

    Wow, way to go Katlyn and team!! These young people are doing Clarke proud!