DECA and FBLA Win Big at Districts

Business and marketing students celebrate and move forward to state competitions

by Marissa Horn, Copy Editor

For the past few months the DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) students worked hard and prepared for their district competitions that took place in early February. These two organizations may seem very similar, but they have aspects that truly separate one from another.

 “FBLA has been around the longest, it’s actually the oldest organization for schools, it’s focused on business where DECA is focused on marketing,” FBLA Advisor Wendy Kirchoffer said. 

Although DECA and FBLA are different from each other, their competitions contain tests and presentations that truly rank the competitors’ professionalism and their ability to think on the spot.

The FBLA competition took place first on Feb. 8. Depending on what categories the FBLA members choose to compete in, some members tested on competition day and other members presented in front of judges. Prior to the competition, members study for tests they have to take and the members who are given an objective to present create a presentation or get prepared for roleplaying with the judges. Roleplaying simply means to be given a situation in which the judge and the competitor are each given a role and the competitor has to reason with the judge on a way to tackle a situation properly. Preparing for competition day comes with a lot of stress, but the hard work of FBLA members paid off as 15 out of 20 students got awards giving them a spot to compete at state.

“I felt like the competition went great, we learned a lot,” Kirchhofer said.

FBLA students at competition (Wendy Kirchhofer)

DECA Districts were held the day after the FBLA competition with the DECA students competing at UMSL on Feb. 9. No testing was required for competitors on competition day as a week before the competition, all students took a 100 question test in which they had 60 minutes to complete. The test aligned with the event that student was signed up for. At Districts, the students had to either complete one or two role plays in front of a judge or come prepared with a presentation for the judges. This competition was also a successful one for St. Charles High as 19 out of 22 students that competed qualified for state.

“I was so proud of my students and I thought it went incredibly well. My students worked really hard in preparation and I know they were very nervous, but they all did so well,” DECA Sponsor Judith Simmons said.

“I think the DECA competition went really well and I think our whole school did amazing, we were really proud of ourselves and all that we accomplished,” DECA President Macy Jones said.

State competitions are coming up quickly with DECA State on Mar. 12-14 in Kansas City and FBLA State on Apr. 16-18 in Springfield. As students move on to state, the difficulty of the competition increases as schools all throughout Missouri will be competing.

“The test gets a little bit harder, they are with the top people in their event on a statewide level so the competition gets harder, but they still have an opportunity to prepare for it and practice more cluster exams,” Simmons said. “Performance at state really depends on how much my students are preparing now.” 

These students are aiming to place in state to reach the ultimate competitions of the National Leadership Conference for FBLA in Atlanta, Georgia, and The International Career Development Conference for DECA in Orlando, Florida. The work doesn’t stop for these business students and they are currently preparing for their state competitions. 

“I’m always in the background encouraging them as much as I can,” Simmons said.