Lawrence students have once again made their mark in the latest round of the DECA business competition. The regional competition, held in Freeport High School on January 10, included eight students from Lawrence High School ranking high across a range of business categories.
Lawrence High School junior Samantha Rubenstein finished first overall in the category of accounting applications, while junior David Kats placed sixth in the same category. Stanley Faynblut, Thomas Lira, Ryan Bae, Jessica Beyer, and Jonathan Rutchik have also qualified to compete at the state competition in Rochester, New York in early March.
These young leaders will participate in competitive events in categories across the business spectrum, such as restaurant and food-service management, business-services marketing, financial consulting, and hospitality and tourism. Senior Victoria DiCeglio will be competing in the fashion merchandising promotion plan, hoping to rank again as she placed fourth last year as a junior. After the state competition in Rochester, qualifying students will head to the international event held this year in Orlando, Florida.
DECA is a not-for-profit student organization founded in 1947. Formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, its mission is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in the various fields of business and management from high schools and colleges worldwide. The high school division includes 200,000 members throughout 3,500 schools.
Lawrence District Business Educator Mark Albin is currently serving his tenth year as DECA adviser. The DECA club is open to all Lawrence High School students and averages 20 student competitors each year. DECA offers a great academic opportunity and even the non-business student can participate, as there are categories that focus on the environment. Students are encouraged to begin as freshmen since it can take a few years to make it to the international level.
Over the past nine years, Albin has guided 23 students to compete on the international level, with several students having qualified multiple times. Throughout that time, Lawrence High School has had five top-ten finalists, with two students placing fourth overall. Albin is proud to see his students participate in these competitive events year after year, “For such a small program, we’ve done quite well.”