ALHS DECA qualifies for nationals after state competition last Sunday

ALHS DECA members pose for a photo at the state competition

The ALHS DECA team traveled to Des Moines on Feb. 24 to participate in the state competition in hopes of moving on to Nashville for nationals, which will be taking place on April 29. 

At the state level, you compete in the events you chose,” senior DECA president Abbie Olson said. “You can present one paper and do a role play but you cannot do two of each only both. I personally am presenting an innovation plan with Harper Snead and participating in an individual role play: Sports and Entertainment marketing. For example, in a role play, you take a test and then literally do a role play. You act out as a businessman selling your ideas to a company in most cases.”

According to, there are about 225,000 members in DECA nationwide. DECA is a class you can take in high school that helps kids who are interested in careers that involve marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, etc. At AL you can either join DECA during your junior or senior year. 


There are 10 students who qualified for nationals. Those who received recognition at the state competition include:

  • Kelsey Wathen: Apparel and Accessories – 2nd place
  • Sabrina Fienhold: Automotive Service Management – 1st place
    • Hospitality and Tourism Operations – 2nd place
  • Ashlyn Holt and Brooke Wholers: Entrepreneurship – 1st place
  • Harper Snead: Hotel and Lodging Management – 2nd place
  • Abbie Olson and Harper Snead: Innovation Plan Paper – 2nd place
  • Arlette Milsted Marketing Communication: 3rd place
  • Abbie Olson placed third in Sports and Entertainment – 3rd place
  • Ian Williams, Korbean Lamere, and Chance Higgins: Start-up Business Paper – 3rd place
  • Chance Higgins and Ian Williams: Sports and Entertainment – 2nd place


I enjoyed them a lot and I like to call myself competitive, I’d also like to get experience in the business world and hope to pursue that in a future career,” Olson said. “Mrs. Nickolisen is someone I can talk to about anything and really tries hard for her students. She definitely wants the best for them. I also looked up to previous years’ DECA members and saw they had a lot of fun doing it so I figured I’d give it a try and found out I enjoyed it a lot.” 

Many students say that being in DECA is a good experience to get involved and learn more about business when you first come to ALHS.

“This is my first year in DECA. You have to be junior or a senior to sign up, otherwise, I would have taken it freshman year,” junior Karlee Koester said. “It’s a really fun experience and we’re always looking to get new people involved. It gives you a lot of opportunities and experiences.”