By Tim Leeds
Four Havre High School students qualified to travel to Louisville, Ky., for the Distributive Educational Clubs of America (DECA) national competition at the end of April.
Twenty-two HHS DECA students attended the state competition. Nancy Cline, Danny McIntosh, Jennie Peterson and Ashley Toner qualified to participate in the national convention. About 760 students from 13 schools competed at the state event.
The top four students in each national event qualify for nationals.
Cline placed second in Quick Service Restaurant Management, McIntosh placed second in Vehicles and Petroleum Management, Peterson placed second in Apparels and Accessories Management and Business Service Management, and Toner placed first in Apparels and Accessories Management. Peterson also placed first in Fashion Modeling, a state event.
Other HHS finalists were Mike Frey in Quick Service Restaurant Management, Katie Kamla and Thea Maristuen in Sports Decision Making Team and Jacob Lorang in Vehicles and Petroleum Management.
Peterson is unable to attend the national competition due to a prior commitment to the Top 10 Track competition. Cline, McIntosh and Toner will travel to the national competition with DECA advisor Jane Hedstrom. The competition is held from April 29 through May 2.
Toner said the state competition was fun.
"We really had to prepare for it," she said. "We've worked really hard to raise money even for the state competition."
She said the next fund-raiser will be a raffle for a May Basket containing merchandise donated by area businesses. The group thanked area businesses that bought advertisements in the programs for the State Class C Basketball
Tournament and the State Class A Volleyball Tournaments. The programs were put out by DECA as a fund-raiser.
McIntosh said preparing to get to state and qualifying for nationals took a lot of hard work. He said there will be thousands of DECA students competing at nationals.
"It will be a well-rounded event; a lot of people involved," he said.
Toner said the national event will be a difficult competition.
"It's completely impromptu," she said. "There's no way to prepare for it. Just business and personal knowledge."
"I think the state competition went really well; our students performed exceptionally," Hedstrom said. "I really feel these students earned the right to go (to nationals)."
Sears, a corporate sponsor for the events, will donate $100 to each of the top four placers in the nationals events to aid in traveling to the national competition. Hedstrom said even so, it's hard to fund the travel costs.
"It's difficult in that short a time to raise that kind of money," she said, "Not knowing how many kids will qualify to go until after state."