NORTH SMITHFIELD – More than a dozen student participants in the North Smithfield High School DECA Club returned home from the state Association Career Development Conference with awards for their projects this month, including five named first place in a competition against some 400 of their peers from across Rhode Island.
DECA – formerly known as Distributive Education Clubs of America – is an association that encourages the development of business and leadership skills. Internationally, more than 177,000 students in the entrepreneurial club participate in conferences and competitions, aimed at preparing the next generation of business leaders.
In North Smithfield, 44 students are members in a robust chapter led by advisor and business teacher Rita Vieira.
“Students in any grade may join DECA, and most members are NSHS Business CTE students and/or take business classes,” Vieira explained.
This year, 37 NSHS students attended the Rhode Island DECA state competition – held at both Providence Performing Art Center and Johnson & Wales University in Providence on Friday, Feb. 10, to compete against approximately 400 other DECA students in the state. North Smithfield students were awarded 13 medals in the areas of business administration, marketing, finance and hospitality.
DECA members also elected new officers, and NSHS’s Logan Medenica won the office of RI DECA president.
“NSHS always had kids that serve on the RI DECA State Action Team, many times as officers,” said Vieira. “For the last three years, NSHS students have held the office of president, which is an honor and a big responsibility for the students.”
The students who placed first or second in their event are now eligible to compete at the DECA International Career and Development Conference, a competition to be held in Orlando, Fl. in April. Ten young scholars from North Smithfield qualified for the April event.
In addition to competitions, DECA members participate in a number of educational conferences, and Vieira noted that this year, students from North Smithfield attended the Emerging Leader Summit, the RI DECA Fall Conference, the DECA Power Trip in Washington, DC, and most recently, the DECA Sports and Entertainment Marketing Conference at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl. from February 1 – 5.
“Conferences involve presentations, seminars, and workshops on business topics, all presented by industry professionals,” Vieira said.
School officials congratulated both Vieira and the winning students on the achievement.
Below is the full list of medal winners from North Smithfield.
- Logan Medenica, Entrepreneurship Series, First place
- Anna Kroner, Food Marketing Series, First place
- Brendan Regan, Personal Financial Literacy, First place
- Patrycja Wos, Principles of Marketing, First place
- Alina Bienkiewicz, Retail Merchandising, First place
- Jeremy DeAguiar, Buying and Merchandising Team, Second place
- Kaiden Kobani, Buying and Merchandising Team, Second place
- Mason DiNezza, Entrepreneurship Team, Second place
- William Sullivan, Entrepreneurship Team, Second place
- Olivia Langone, Food Marketing Series, Second place
- Breanna McAssey, Hotel and Lodging Management, Third place
- Wiliam Connell, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Team, Third place
- Ethan Correia, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Team, Third place