Klamath Union DECA Takes State

As Kannah Greer and Jacob Schlottmann-McGonigle stepped to the stage, they were ecstatic knowing they made the top eight at the State DECA competition in Portland, Oregon.   To them, getting on stage was a significant accomplishment; little did they know, they would go on to win first place in the Hospitality Services Team Decision Making Series.  Your heart never forgets hearing the announcer say “Your State Champion, From Klamath Union, the team of Schlottmann and Greer.”

Schlottmann stated “winning first was one of the best moments in my life.  I have set school records in swimming, placed at the state XC meet, but DECA is different.  You always have to be ready because you never know what scenario you will get in the competition.  In sports, you can prepare for your competition, but in DECA it just comes at you.”

DECA is an organization that develops emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. It provides students with the opportunity to learn how to speak, critical thinking, and business skills that build

Klamath Union DECA returned from The State DECA Career Development Conference held in Portland February 24-26 last week, tired from a tough week of competition.  At this competition, business students from across the state gathered to test their skills, networking with other students, and have some fun in Portland. Klamath Union DECA prepared for the state conference since the beginning of the school year.  Over the course five months, KU DECA completed numerous community service projects, practice competitions, and research projects all in preparation for this event.

This year Klamath Union brought 21 chapter members, the most they in the past five years.  Most of the members were first-year members that learned about DECA role-plays through trial and error. Freshman Wyatt Cain stated, “how can you be nervous when you don’t know what you are doing.” Cain went on to learn the basics of DECA role plays and is excited to return next year.  Noa Ramos, a foreign exchange student from Belgium, loved the experience as she plans to study business and marketing next year in college. Second-year member Makenna Whitlock was so excited to learn that she scored a 90 on a role play. KU DECA Advisor, Nat Ellis, said, “watching competitors learn about their success is the best part.  Whitlock improved from last year, and I am sure she will do amazing next year.

The ultimate highlight of the trip is ultimately watching the team come together and support each other.  Each year new members mix with veteran members to form a lasting bond. Throughout five days, the team had time to practice together, complete a scavenger hunt, and develop friendships as a team.  From hanging out in the hotel to seeing teammates on stage, KU DECA achieved a great DECA experience.

Ellis continued with “When you see your members win trophies, it is worth the hard work.  I was so proud of this team to practice as hard as they did, then support each other in the end.  The team of Greer and Schlottmann was impressive. They have great chemistry working together and can create outstanding business solutions in a short amount of time.  Their win sealed the trip as a success. To see DECA members work hard and realize what they can do if they work together is what DECA is all about.“

Ellis concluded with, “Greer was our top competitor this year.  She was simply amazing. She placed third in a written project that earned a super high score. Her near flawless presentation was topped by a perfect score from another team.   All you can do is your best and she did that. Along the way to her state title with Schlottmann, she also earned a test medal in Quick Serve Restaurant Management. To conclude the night, Greer was named the Oregon DECA VP of Career Development and will work with other DECA state officers to lead Oregon DECA.  I am so proud of Greer. She continuously strives to not only improve herself but the lives of those around her. She is a great asset to our chapter.”

I am looking forward to them competing at the International competition in Orlando, Florida in late April.  KU will send three students to the Orland: Kannah Greer, Jacob Schlottmann, and Brady Monteith.

This year went exceptionally well for Klamath Union, coming home with seven medals and three trophies. The results were as follows:

  • Kannah Greer & Jacob Schlottmann – 1st Overall Hospitality Tourism Team Decision, 1st Case Study
  • Kannah Greer – 3rd Test Medal Quick Serve Restaurant Management
  • Kannah Greer – 3rd – Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
  • Jacob Schlottmann, Dillon Taylor, Annie Campbell – 3rd Place Learn and Earn
  • Khrystina Dawes & Elizabeth Hernandez-Perez – 4th Place Community Service Project
  • Jacob Schlotmann – 7th Overall Quick Serve Restaurant Management
  • Brady Monteith – 8th Overall Quick Serve Restaurant Management
  • Dillon Taylor – Top 8 Hospitality Tourism Exam
  • Dillon Taylor – 3rd Place Test – Quick Serve Restaurant Management

Along with these successes, Klamath Union was awarded Third Place Chapter of the Year. Kannah Greer was also elected as the Oregon DECA Vice President of Career Development.

“It was a great way to leave my last state competition – watching my teammates win while having a great time meeting new friends and having fun with the ones I knew.” Khrystina Dawes said when asked about her state competition experience. Dawes is a senior at Klamath Union, and this is her second and last State Career Development Conference. She also explained that her favorite part of the trip was helping the newer members prepare for the competition, teaching them how roleplays work, and going over tests.

One newcomer, Ava Livingstone, explained her experience as “ unforgettable.”  Livingstone went on to explain “I am excited to be part of DECA next year and be part of the team.  I joined late this year and enjoyed being part of the team. DECA is a cool experience that I

If you want more information, please contact Nat Ellis, KU DECA advisor,  541.331.6197, ellisn@kfalls.k12.or.us

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