Three Tuscarora DECA Members Place at States and Advance to Nationals:

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Arran Ponte, Breanna Puterio, and Megan Gibson all placed highly in their categories at DECA states, earning them a spot at the national competition in Orlando, Florida

By Abigail Schlitzer

On March First, 16 Tuscarora DECA members joined hundreds of Virginia students at Virginia Beach for the annual State Leadership Conference. After a three day conference and competition, senior Arran Ponte placed 8th in the Apparel and Accessories Marketing Series, and senior Breanna Puterio and junior Megan Gibson placed 2nd in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team decision.

“When we finished [competing] we didn’t think we were going to place, but we thought we did well. That’s why at the awards ceremony, I wore vans instead of ‘deca appropriate shoes.’ When we got called on stage, we were very surprised. I was standing in the common area. I wasn’t even where I was supposed to be. When I turned around and saw our names on the board, we had to sprint all the way to the stage from the back of the room,” said Bree Puterio.

At the competition, teams and individuals are given a role play situation and are given a set amount of time to develop a solution to the situation. Ponte was given two sets of situations, with ten minutes after each to prepare her solution, and an additional ten minutes to present each time. Puterio and Gibson were given one situation, with 30 minutes to prepare a solution and fifteen minutes to present.

To prepare for the competition, Ponte “studied previous tests and role play examples, and relied on experience from marketing classes and interpersonal skills,” while Puterio and Gibson did not have much of a plan.

“Megan and I had never talked to each other before, we became friends at states,” said Puterio. “We didn’t even know what category we were competing in going into states. Normally you’re supposed to have a plan, we were just in a weird situation. Megan didn’t compete at districts, and I didn’t do well on the test for my category, so I had to compete in a different category. It worked out well though! We work well together since we have similar personalities.”

Ponte, Puterio, and Gibson will compete at DECA Nationals from April 25-May 1 in Orlando, Florida.