Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Dedicated DECA Delegates Deliver at SCDC

Sharing results and experiences as a first-year DECA member at the State Career Development Conference.

From Thursday, February 15, 2024, to Saturday, February 17, 2024, at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, students in AMHS DECA competed at the SC SCDC (State Career Development Conference).  I and 12 others from the club, along with our advisor, Mr. McCormick, had the opportunity to attend and compete in various categories, either as a group or individually, at the state competition, to see if we could make it to nationals in Anaheim, California during April. Five members achieved that goal.

The competition categories are organized into four career clusters, which include marketing, finance, hospitality, and management, as well as entrepreneurship and personal financial literacy. Additionally, some of the events of the competition include role plays, case studies, and written events, which include research plans and presentation projects. However, if you decide to do a roleplay or case study, you have to take an examination in your chosen cluster, which would mean 100 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 90 minutes. Those who choose to make a presentation or compete in a written event do not have to take the exam but would have to have their presentations completed and submitted ahead of the competition, as well as have a script prepared. Most events include 10-15 minutes of interview time, depending on the number of participants, for judges to determine how well-versed you are in your category. 


As for our DECA experience, members participated in lunch meetings and Zoom calls leading up to the competition to help prepare and determine if they’d be fit for the state competition. Further, as experienced DECA members, having been members of the club since they were underclassmen and having attended the competitions before, senior leaders of the club Abby Brauchle, Grace Reuben, and Sophie Reuben shared helpful links and their own experiences to help the members prepare and inform new members about what being a part of DECA is like. 

For the actual competition set-up, some members competed on the first day (Thursday), while others didn’t compete until Friday. On Thursday, after all of the events were completed during the day, the opening session took place in the evening. During this session, 23-24 DECA state officers were introduced, speeches were given, and many members, schools, and chapter advisors were recognized for the work they’ve done for DECA so far during the current school year. Additionally, the results of some of those who competed in individual events that day were announced. Those who did well were announced as semifinalists and moved on to compete the next day, Friday, for a chance to make it to nationals.


Two of our very own Raptors, Zachary Butler (11) and Rainn Dyce (11), were able to achieve this accomplishment!




The following day, Friday, basically went the same as Thursday, minus the opening session, as more members competed in their chosen events. Saturday morning is when the nervousness and excitement for the competition really hit, as this is when the closing session took place. SC DECA was kind enough to serve a breakfast buffet for all competitors and their advisors before the session began as everyone reported back to the banquet hall in the morning around 8:45 am. Each school was assigned to a table and AMHS was fortunate enough to be able to be able to sit in the front row, right by the stage.


Left to right: Shannon Phelan, Louisa Mulvey, Emma Herrin, Eliza Compton, and Keren Collins (all Class of 24′)





After the completion of breakfast, all dishes were collected, and the opening session officially began. More speeches were given and then the results of each event were promptly presented alphabetically. Competitors stood below the stage and waited for their fates…

For individual events, the top 5 go on to nationals, and for teams, depending on the number of competitors in the event, either the top 2 or 3 make it to nationals. Additionally, those who place within the top 3 get to take home a “DECA Glass,” which is essentially just a glass trophy/placard award. However, this year’s competition was tough, as over 400 new members have joined SC DECA, and this year had the highest number of members.


Results for AMHS
  • Shannon Phelan (’24) – Financial Consulting Event, 2nd Place – qualified for Nationals
  • Eliza Compton & Keren Collins (’24) – Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making, 2nd Place
    • also recognized as top scorers for their cluster exam – qualified for Nationals
  • Emma Herrin & Louisa Mulvey (’24) – Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research, 2nd Place – qualified for Nationals
  • Abby Brauchle, Grace Reuben, & Sophie Reuben (’24) – International Business Plan, 3rd Place
  • Zachary Butler (’25) – Principles of Business Management and Administration, Semifinalist, Top 10
  • Rainn Dyce (’25) – Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, Semifinalist, Top 10
  • Wilsen Swenson & Jasmine Zheng (’24) – Marketing Team Decision Making, Top 10
  • Suguri Yamaguchi (’26)- Principles of Business Management and Administration

Congratulations and good luck to those who qualified, and well done to everyone who competed!

Direct your experience!

— SC DECA 23-24

A Little Bit of My Personal Experience From Day 1/3

My team, consisting of fellow senior Wilson Swenson and I,  competed Thursday afternoon after waiting an excruciating 90 minutes due to delays, and we left feeling quite uneasy but relieved for it being over, as we only competed for one event.  It is our first year in DECA, and we may not have prepared as much as we should have. We participated in MTDM (Marketing Team Decision Making), which was a role-play event, meaning we were given 30 minutes of preparation in which they gave us a scenario where a problem from a company was presented, and we had to create and present a solution or plan. We were then given 15 minutes to act out our roles, present to the judge, and answer any possible questions.

To further describe our experience, we promptly arrived at the venue at 2:00 pm, after much difficulty finding where the actual entrance was, to ensure we had time to properly fill out forms and do everything we needed before competing. Our hold time was 2:50, and our supposed start time was 2:55, but upon entering the waiting area, we were told that there would be delays, due to the number of people in our category, and there only being one judge.  Each team had to wait 30 minutes before they were able to start since each team was given 30 minutes to prepare. There were times when we considered possibly just leaving, but after a quick water break, and remembering what we had already done to get there, we were ready to wait. Additionally, fortunately for us, we were in the middle of the line, so at least we wouldn’t have to wait too long. Thus, we waited until we were eventually able to begin prep at 4:05. We were finally finished sometime after 5:00 and went to Panera to do work and grab a quick dinner until it was time for the opening session. 

Honestly, the moment the doors to the banquet hall opened for the opening session, I felt like I was in a fever dream. The lights were all out, everyone suddenly had lightsticks in their hands, and music from the 2010s was blasting from speakers around the room. Hundreds of high schoolers were just jamming out and waving lightsticks all over the place.

Seeing how many people were actually there for the competition and how hype they were all getting was a little scary, but I applaud their passion and enthusiasm.



Overall, I would say the experience was fun and a club I would definitely recommend joining if you want to do something business-related in the future or just simply want to build skillsets, like speaking in front of others, quick thinking, knowledge of the business world, professionalism, etc., for your academic and future career paths. Looking good as an activity when applying to college is also a plus…



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