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  • Writer's pictureThe Lawrencian

LHS DECA - New Jersey Districts

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

LHS DECA members before the 2020 NJ DECA State Career Development Conference (pre-COVID

DECA is a co-curricular business organization that prepares aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges. Recently, the Lawrence High School DECA Chapter, advised by Mrs. Schneck and Mr. Tees, prepared 218 LHS DECA members to compete at one of three district-level competitions hosted by New Jersey DECA. Typically, DECA members competing in a roleplay event at Districts take a 100-question multiple-choice test prior to the in-person District competition hosted by Kean University. At Kean University, DECA members would normally proceed to complete the second part of their event: two 10-minute, live roleplays. The test score and roleplay are combined to produce a final score that determines whether or not a DECA member advances to the next stage of competition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey DECA decided to remove the live roleplay portion of all roleplay events, leaving just the test portion.

Historically, the Lawrence DECA chapter does very well in all rounds of competition, and this year was no exception. Lawrence DECA’s officer team and advisors prepared the members by offering multiple practice tests, Kahoots, and weekly mandatory reviews. In order to encourage members to truly learn and review the materials, the officer team and advisors offered gift cards to the winner of each game review night hosted every Wednesday of November. Every year our school performs exceptionally well at the regional competition and in the 2020 regional competition we had over 50 Lawrence DECA members advance to the state competition from Districts. Some members are also taking part in a manual, which is a 10 or 20 page written event members can choose to do by themselves, with a partner, or as a trio. These consist of various topics, such as developing a new product. With 39 members taking part in these manuals in over 22 different events, some of whom also compete in roleplays, a total of 76 Lawrence DECA members are going to states.

At states, these students will retest in their subject area and submit recorded role-plays to the judges. Traditionally a multi-day conference at Harrah’s hotel in Atlantic City, the conference was forced to adopt a virtual platform for this year due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. After submitting the competition materials, LHS DECA will learn which members have qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) through a live-streamed awards video. The awards video will include opening and closing sessions, as well as “instructional awards”, which are given to students attaining the highest score in a certain competitive aspect, either the test or the first or second roleplay. While ICDC has had to pivot to a virtual experience from the intended five day trip to Anaheim, California, DECA is working to make the conference as memorable as possible. The 76 members competing at the State Career Development Conference is a testament to the incredible adaptability of every single LHS DECA member in response to the unprecedented challenges faced this year.

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