DECA begins new year strong

Club hopes to increase participation, membership


Tenzin Gyaldatsang

Sophomores Ella Ngyuen and Abby Keller work during the DECA meeting Oct. 13. DECA stands for ‘Distributive Education Clubs of America’.

Tenzin Gyaldatsang and Sam Listiak

In DECA, students study business concepts for a multitude of careers, such as marketing, finance and hospitality, and even compete in meets at the district, state and national levels. According to DECA co-adviser Abby Lugo, the DECA meeting Oct. 13 was a success, with strong leadership from returning officers.

“We are always just really excited when any students show interest in coming in before school. And obviously, it’s a student-run activity, so having our officers run the meeting this morning is also really nice,” Lugo said. “We’re excited for our new officers to join that team and continually put on great meetings for our members.”

For sophomore Abby Keller, who isn’t taking DECA the class, the club has been a great learning experience and she aims to stay focused, especially during meetings.

“It’s been a lot of learning of what’s going on because I’m not in the class, so I’m very new. So learning just what’s happening and keeping track of what’s going on,” Keller said.

DECA co-adviser Sophia Ross said there has been a shift in club dynamic, as DECA has moved from Zoom meetings to in-person events and has had members take up more leadership roles.

“Andre (Barajas) was one of the officers last year, and so he’s actually stepping up this year, but it’s different because we’re in person. ” Ross said. “Raquel (Schlichting) has always been a huge part of DECA, and she’s taken a lot of our classes. She’s always been involved, so this is just a leadership role for her. So it’s been a very nice transition for us this year, because they’ve been able to keep being involved.” 

Lugo said the officers have been working hard and collaborating with the advisers to plan meetings and work on current goals.

“In addition to coming to the chapter meetings, we meet with them on the first and third Fridays of every month. And so in those meetings we plan what our chapter meetings are going to look like, and some overall goals for our chapter,” Lugo said. “Their commitment has been awesome. A couple of them are doing PSEO, so their commitment to still be involved in the chapter and dedication to preparing for meetings and coming to meetings is awesome.”

According to Ross, district meets where students compete are still yet to be determined, but are being scheduled in-person.

“We just had our first planning meeting yesterday and it’s to be determined. Right now, we’re planning on it being at Wayzata High School in January, in-person, (but it’s)based on what the COVID(-19) numbers are, and what our district allows us to do, or what our school district allows us to do,” Ross said.

Lugo said she has a multitude of aspirations for the club, specifically hoping for students to make the most out of the resources DECA has, and to make it a more diverse club.

“One expectation that I have is that a lot of the members of my DECA classes come to competitions and take advantage of the other opportunities that this club offers them,” Lugo said. “Another goal that I always have is to bring more diversity into our club and to have more students of color.”

For more information regarding DECA, follow @slpdeca on Instagram.