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BHHS Today

The Student News Site of Bloomfield Hills High School

BHHS Today

The Student News Site of Bloomfield Hills High School

BHHS Today

The Black Hawks are in business

An inside look at DECA

An all-time record number of BHHS students attended the regional Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) competition on December 9, 2023. The conference was held at Berkeley High School, pitting BHHS against 17 other schools. Of the 43 Black Hawks competing, 36 were named finalists and qualified for the state competition—another all-time school record.

   The mission of DECA is to develop the modern business skills of members not only through competitions, but also by participating in conferences, workshops, community service activities, and other educational programs. Students are challenged in “business clusters” including marketing, hospitality and tourism, management, entrepreneurship, finance, and personal finance. Each member chooses a cluster and then specializes even more by selecting an event.

   “I chose Principles of Business Management because I thought it was a great introductory event for DECA,” states sophomore Layla Kallivayalil. “It allowed me to learn a lot about how business is managed and the work that goes into running businesses.”

   At competitions, DECA members are evaluated in two ways: a 100-question multiple-choice exam and a judged role-play scenario presentation. The students’ business clusters determine their exam, while their events decide their role-play scenario. Senior Merrick Chernett achieved the highest exam score among the chapter of 95% and sophomores Naisha Doshi and Kathryn Ho earned a perfect 100/100 for their role-play presentation together. 

   “The more advanced your event, the more specific it is, so it takes some time to decide what everyone wants to do,” explains Mrs. Kavanagh, the chapter sponsor. “For example, a Principles of Marketing scenario could take place as a job interview, a conversation with a coworker, or a meeting with a client, whereas Retail Marketing Services scenarios will always take place in a retail store.”

   According to Chernett, the specific judge can make a considerable difference in the score of each competitor’s role-play presentation. 

   He reveals, “It is important that it is personable and you connect with a judge to create a relationship that will benefit you.”

   Preparation for the multiple-choice exam is more straightforward for members: taking practice exams, using Quizlet, or reviewing vocab terms. 

   On the other hand, “Role-plays can be intimidating,” warns Mrs. Kavanagh. “It’s very hard to explain how a role-play works without seeing one done, so we relied on demos from upperclassmen and watching videos online.”

   The State Career Development Conference will take place in Detroit from March 14-16, 2024. It is set to host over 4,200 Michigan DECA members and advisors. As March 14 inches closer, BHHS members are gearing up for the competition. 

   The BHHS chapter gained access to more preparation materials this year via a service called DECA+, which was provided through a Michigan Department of Education grant. Mrs. Kavanagh cites DECA+ as one of the factors that has helped students already set multiple school records at Districts. 

   If students perform well at States, they will be rewarded with the opportunity to compete at the International Career Development Conference in April. These conferences are more than just competitions; they are also a way for DECA members to build connections, acquire new skills, and interact with the business representatives in attendance.

   Chernett reflects, “I think participating in DECA will help me in the future because it teaches me important skills like performing on the spot because you don’t really have a lot of time to come up with your answers. It’s really just being asked a question and a different prompt and having a very short amount of time to answer.”

   Throughout the school year, DECA members meet briefly and prepare together each Wednesday.

   “Because we have limited time after school, we rely a lot on independent practice and preparation—of course YouTube always helps,” Mrs. Kavanagh comments.

   Sophomore Kadin Gibson appreciates the sense of community that has grown among the chapter. He shares, “There is substantial camaraderie between the members of DECA. Although all of the members may not all know each other very well, they are all invested in seeing one another succeed and won’t hesitate to help each other when possible.” 

   “For any students interested in joining DECA, I encourage them to give it a try,” Gibson further adds. “If they’re interested in business, entrepreneurship, marketing, or just enjoy public speaking and creativity then they’ll likely succeed in this club and have fun in the process.”


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About the Contributors
Benjamin Saperstein
Benjamin Saperstein, Editor-In-Chief
Hi, my name is Ben Saperstein and I am an Editor in Chief for The Hawkeye. I am in my senior year and this is my 3rd year on staff. Outside of the The Hawkeye, I am on the varsity tennis team, the middle school tutoring club, and the chess club. In my free time, you will find me solving Rubik's Cubes and studying for my classes.
Meyer Saperstein
Meyer Saperstein, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Meyer Saperstein and I am a staff writer for The Hawkeye. I am in my sophomore year and this is my first year on staff. Outside of The Hawkeye I am on the basketball team, baseball team, Varsity tennis team, Jewish Student Alliance, and Middle School Tutoring Club. In my free time you will find me studying and watching sports.
Eleen Vaupel
Eleen Vaupel, Staff Writer
Hi, my name Eleen Vaupel and I am a staff writer for The Hawkeye. I am in my senior year and this my second year on the staff. Outside of The Hawkeye I am on varsity diving, gymnastics, and lacrosse. I am also apart of JSA and Model UN. In my free time you will find me playing with my dog and sleeping.

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