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Two DECA students with trophy

Westonka DECA Advances Highest Number Ever to Internationals

By Sue Simonson, 03/15/24, 10:45AM CDT


A school record 40 Mound Westonka High School students will advance to this year’s DECA Internationals competition in Anaheim, California.

Westonka DECA Chapter at State

Mound Westonka High School brought 166 students to the 2024 Minnesota DECA State Career Development Conference, which was held March 10-12 in Minneapolis. A school record 40 MWHS students will advance to this year’s DECA Internationals competition.

The following MWHS students will compete with 22,000 top DECA students from around the world at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California April 26-30: seniors Olivia Adam, Jack Hall, Bryce Helms, Sammy Krahl, Gabriella Larsen, Hailey Lockwood, Kendra Mattson, Natalie Miner, Jack Moch, Addison Nash, Cassie Nemecek, Isaac Paul, Maquinna Peglow, Chloe Rice, Maisie Wheeler and Rocco Zahasky; juniors Anna Borg, Emma Carlson, Ruby Finck, Ajay Kirmeier, Eliott Lang, Stella Miner, Camille Ness, Gracie O’Halloran and Lauren Velander; sophomores Ali Butler, Hayden Dehmer, Sienna Dehmer, Georgia Harmer, Leon Kravchenko, Allison Kreiser, Maria Neumann and Sydney Reier; and ninth graders Addison Bryan, Annika Hagen, August Lang, Ella McClellan, Val Mobagi, Lizzy Nash and Sky Nienaber.

Approximately 5,300 Minnesota DECA student members take part in the organization’s competitive events program during the school year, allowing them to compete in over 50 events focused on the areas of entrepreneurship, finance, hospitality, marketing and related fields. The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. 

After qualifying at district competitions earlier this year, students put their talents to the test during the state competition. The top 12 finishers in each DECA category advance to the state finals. 

Westonka DECA was entered in 53 of 56 events run at the state level this year and advanced 79 students/groups to the finals:

Written Papers

  • Business Growth Plan – Addison Nash & Lizzy Nash, 1st
  • Business Services Operations Research – Ruby Finck, Sabrina Kaganovsky & Brenden Sexton, 12th
  • Buying and Merchandising Operations Research – Edie Hollenstein & Ellie Putnam, 8th; Luke Carlson & Tor Erdahl, 10th; Cole Drill, Matthew Mobagi & Mason Sebasky, 11th; Jack Markstrom, Jonny Range, Rocco Zahasky, 12th
  • Finance Operations Research Project – Camille Ness, 1st
  • Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research Project – Audrey Kirscht & Sara Sipprell, 7th
  • Sports & Entertainment Operations Research Project – Georgia Harmer & Sydney Reier, 7th; Piper Landsman, Alexa Leonard & Gracie O’Halloran, 8th; Michael Proulx, Luke Markstrom & Charlie Paul, 11th
  • Independent Business Plan – Max Anderson, Ryan Hempel & Colter Applegate, 5th
  • Franchise Business Plan – Claire Buetow & Sadie Ottenbreit, 11th
  • Integrated Marketing Campaign Event  – August Lang & Elliott Lang, 6th; Alicia Clobes, Maya Lada & Taryn Peglow, 7th; Suzie Marth, 8th
  • Integrated Marketing Campaign Product  – Addison Bryan & Ella McClellan, 3rd; Lauren Velander, 7th; Mia Abernethy, Sienna Dehmer & Maria Neumann, 9th; Cerisa Bray & Delaney Hendrix, 10th
  • Integrated Marketing Campaign Service  – Annika Hagen & Valerie Mobagi, 6th
  • Innovation Plan - Sydney Carlin, Lizzy Huls & Kaitlyn Lazenby, 7th
  • Start-Up Business Plan – Aleks Barnes, Jack Hall & Jack Moch, 7th
  • Gold Chapter Campaign – Sammy Krahl & Olivia Adam, 1st
  • School-Based Enterprise - Retail – Hailey Lockwood & Chloe Rice, 8th
  • Business Solutions Chapter Project – Olivia Adam & Gabriella Larsen, 3rd
  • Career Development Chapter Project – Natalie Miner & Stella Miner, 1st
  • Community Awareness Chapter Project – Anna Borg, Addison Nash & Maquinna Peglow, 3rd
  • Financial Literacy Chapter Project – Rachel Erickson, Kendra Mattson & Maisie Wheeler, 4th
  • Community Giving Chapter Project – Emma Carlson & Sammy Krahl, 6th
  • Sales Chapter Project – Marissa Nelson, Gracie O’Halloran & Michael Oftedahl, 10th

Professional Selling Events

  • Hospitality & Tourism - Cassie Nemecek, 8th 

Individual Role Plays

  • Accounting Applications Role Play – Kendra Mattson, 6th
  • Apparel and Accessories Marketing Role Play – Hannah Christenson, 9th
  • Business Services Marketing Series – Ajay Kirmeier, 7th; Addison Bryan, 10th; Marshall Morrison, 11th
  • Entrepreneurship Series Role Play – Cassie Nemecek, 9th; Addison Nash, 10th
  • Food Marketing Role Play - Stella Miner, 2nd; Maisie Wheeler, 4th
  • Hotel & Lodging Role Play – Sky Nienaber, 8th
  • Human Resources Management Role Play - Anna Olson, 10th
  • Marketing Communications Role Play – Olivia Adam, 8th
  • Quick Serve Restaurant Role Play – Mikey Oftedahl, 9th
  • Restaurant and Food Service Management Role Play – August Lang, 3rd; Gracie O’Halloran, 9th

Team Role Plays

  • Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making – Piper Landsman & Charlotte Mitlyng, 6th; Sam Holmberg & Michael Proulx, 12th
  • Financial Services Team Role Play – Chloe Rice & Jagger Wittine, 9th; Colter Applegate & Clark Hanson, 11th
  • Hospitality Team Role Play – Luke Markstrom & Charlie Paul, 11th
  • Marketing Management Team Role Play – Sammy Krahl & Natalie Miner, 5th

State-Only Events

  • Sales Demonstration - Hard Lines - Sky Nienaber, 5th
  • Sales Demonstration - Soft Lines - Chloe Patterson, 12th

Top Test Score Medals 

  • Personal Financial Literacy Exam - Noah Huesmann, Jaden Christ
  • Business Management & Administration Cluster Exam - Luke Carlson, Caryn Childers
  • Entrepreneurship Exam - Cassie Nemecek