DECA students shine at International Career Developement Competition in Nashville.
The Matanzas High School DECA Club had a special retirement “gift” for their advisor, Barbara Tant. They won “Top 10 in the Nation” for the Coffee Spot, at the International Career Development Competition.
Tant is retiring at the end of the school year, after 44 years of teaching – 30 of those, in Flagler and Volusia counties.
Team members Charlie Wicker, Andrew Bryants, and Mathew Crogan traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, April 24-28, to compete against 20,000 other students from around the world.
“Seeing all of those kids working at that level, it was amazing,” Andrew said.
The team hasn't been notified of what spot in the Top 10 they earned. That news will come later.
“Only the top three get trophies,” Tant said. “The kids joked that they were probably number four.”
This year the team's presentation to the judges focused on their selling practices – how they train employees, promote and sell their products.
“The students were very excited about the level of judges they presented to this year,” Tant said.
The School-Based Enterprise (SBE) at Matanzas was among 316 SBEs in the U. S. achieving Gold Level Certification.
Mathew, the head manager, and the one who oversees finances at the Coffee Spot, explained that MHS had the benefit of being the only school in Florida that already had an existing Gold Certification.
The initial certification involves writing a 75-page document detailing the business. MHS only had to submit a 25-page document, detailing policies and procedures and demonstrating their adherence to various marketing and retail standards.
This was the last DECA competition for Mathew and Andrew, who will graduate in the class of 2016.
Mathew will continue his studies at the University of Miami, using what he has learned toward his future career.
“I am going to major in marketing,” Mathew said. “Eventually I want to become an entrepreneur and start a business – not just for the profits, but to help others.”
Andrew has decided to attend Daytona State College for two years, before heading off to the University of Florida to pursue a degree in business and management.
“I plan to go as high as I can in business and management,” Andrew said.
Mathew said he takes this quote with him: “If you try to make others around you successful, you'll make yourself successful.”