Districts or bust


Alice Willard

After a long day of competing, students anxiously await their scores. Those who qualified were called on stage and awarded a medal. The top three in each category got an additional ribbon with their title printed across the front.

In a room of chatter and excitement, one person is fixated on only you. They are watching you and listening to every word you say. This person is your judge, who decides whether or not you qualify for the next level. This is the DECA district competition. DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an organization in which students compete in business-like situations. On January 17 at Christian Brothers University, a select group of White Station students competed in a district competition.

“My favorite part of the trip was getting to meet people from other schools and spending time with friends,” Clara Thompson (10) said. “I got to learn more about the competition process and it definitely sparked my interest.”

To start off their day, students studied a business scenario in preparation for their meeting with a judge, who would analyze the speaker’s ability to use creative thinking, problem-solving, and other important skills for the business world. The type of scenario varied depending on the event that the student participated in. This was followed by a five to ten minute presentation to their individual judge.

“I’m most excited for the competition aspect since I’m extremely competitive,” Ella Jones (10) said. “I’m also excited to fix the mistakes that I made at districts.”

Those who placed in the top seven at districts advanced to the state level. The competition will be more fierce here because the top competitors from each district of Tennessee will face off in  Chattanooga in March. Out of around 200 students, White Station had the greatest number of first-place wins, as well as the greatest number of participants. Almost all of the White Station participants advanced to the next level.

“My favorite part of the trip was the thrill of making second place within my category,” Kyah McKinney (11) said. “Learning more about how to communicate in a business situation and learning ways to elaborate on different ideas were also things I loved about the trip. I’m most excited about state, because all of my best friends and I qualified for state. I’m really excited to see how well I will do and if I make it to nationals.”