DECA goes to Internationals in Tennessee

Gabe Waldbaum, News Editor

Liberty’s DECA chapter approached the International Career and Development Conference in Nashville, Tennessee with the advice of their advisor, Chris Gapinski, in mind: “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” And that’s exactly what they did.
There were nine students who placed in the top ten for their competitive categories, a new record for Liberty. Notably, Senior Alex Wilsey finished his third year in the international competition with a second place trophy in Business Services Marketing.
“When I was on stage for the top ten I was just looking around and thinking ‘wow,’” sophomore Holden Kooiker said.
Students can qualify for ICDC through many categories, such as writing a paper on a small business or improvising on how to fix a variety of problems a company could face.
Although they did not place in the top ten, sophomores Bethany Locke and Eric Fong went up to nationals in just their first year of DECA.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I was shocked because they are super bright students,” DECA teacher Chris Gapinski said. “However, as a first year it is a bigger achievement because they have not gone through the process before.”
When not competing, the students spent their time touring Tennessee by going on a steam boat ride, visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and catching a show at the Grand Ole Opry.
“In Nashville there is live music wherever you go, no matter if it is morning, noon, or night,” junior Riley Mcnutt said. “Everything is so lively.”