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Newport Harbor Students Win Multiple Awards at SoCal DECA Conference
Posted 2/14/23

DECA students at conference

Students who attend Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) conferences are serious about business. And the Newport Harbor High School (NHHS) students who competed at the Southern California District Career Development Conference in Anaheim earlier this year won silver and bronze in multiple categories.

The students, all of whom take International Baccalaureate (IB) Business Management classes as part of NHHS’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, were given scenarios to role-play or case studies to analyze in categories such as marketing, management and sales. These challenges call on students to utilize the knowledge acquired in the classroom as they demonstrate their creative, industry-relevant problem-solving skills to find practical solutions. 

“The beauty of the Business Management curriculum at Newport Harbor is that it seamlessly blends the CTE pathway with the IB program; case study analysis is part of what our students do. They’ve gone to chamber of commerce meetings and professional conferences; they’ve done community-service projects. So when we go to DECA conferences, our students are prepared to perform for the judges, who are industry leaders,” said Teacher Sheridan Hirst. 

DECA prepares students to be leaders in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Newport Harbor’s first DECA charter was formed seven years ago, with students attending conferences every year since. 

Earning second-place DECA Glass trophies were Logan Hardy in the Hotel and Lodging Management category and Maggie McWhertor in Marketing Communications. Hailey Wall took home a third-place for Apparel and Accessories Marketing.

Winning silver medals in their categories were Wall, Hardy, McWhertor, Josh Dodman (Marketing Communications), Abby Valdes (Retail Merchandising) and Kate Stake (Sports and Entertainment Marketing). Hardy and McWertor also earned bronze medals. 

Moving on to the State Career Development Conference in March are Wall, Hardy, Dodman, McWhertor, Valdes, Kate Stake, Kendall Stake, Isabelle Goodman, Grayson LaBonty, Hana Schimmelpfennig, Addie Jardim, Kali Lukei and Caroline Close.  

Newport Harbor is one of two Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) schools offering the Business Management CTE pathway and the only campus with an IB program. For more information about NMUSD’s CTE pathways, visit the CTE website.