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EPHS DECA: 2023-24 in review

Deca attendees
Sam Britten, Marketing & Publishing Specialist

Elmwood Park High School’s DECA chapter closed out the year following its participation at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California. 10 EPHS students competed in 61 events and four Leadership Academies at the conference. Below are some of the highlights:

  • Alexa Vateva was a finalist in the Hotel Lodging Management category 
  • Johnny Baratta competed in the Integrated Marketing Plan and was recognized on stage with a Silver Ribbon Medallion for his plan presentation
  • Rayan Lahlou-nabil, Nicole Taha, Natalia Ciura, Michelle Sapeta and Sarah Pritt earned top 20% in their categories
  • Rayan Lahlou-nabil, Nicole Taha, Sarah Pritt and Eva Mylonas received the Emerging Leader Honor Award
Alexa Vateva and Johnny Baratta

Students Alexa Vateva and Johnny Baratta with their medals at ICDC

EPHS DECA Advisor Karen Bear says this is the most students the chapter has ever sent to the international competition. Additionally, since Bear took over as advisor 22 years ago, students have attended every international conference.

DECA performed exceptionally year-round; many students earned high honors at the Sectional and State competitions earlier this year, feeding off that momentum as they went to ICDC. Bear notes one of this year’s great accomplishments includes Lahlou-nabil and Taha’s joint effort that resulted in raising $9,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. 

EPHS DECA winners

DECA students with their awards after the state competition

“We are happy and grateful to have the support of the [Board of Education] and school,” Bear said. “Elmwood Park kids always make me proud and reflect beautifully on Elmwood Park.”

While several seniors are graduating, four of the students who attended this year’s ICDC conference were juniors, creating a bright outlook for the future of DECA. Bear says they are already working on plans for next year including another Spike for a Cause. 

Congratulations to the 2023-24 DECA members!

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