Though the Old Rochester Regional High School DECA club is barely a year old, and just attended its first district level competition, the fledgeling club did quite well, with 17 of 33 students that attended qualifying for States.
Ryu Hyuhn-Aoyama, a high school senior, is one of the business club’s
co-presidents. He used to
live in Wareham and always planned to join their team. When he
discovered that ORR didn’t
have a team he started trying to form one. But didn’t have enough
interest until this year’s
sophomore class started last year.
The group practices every Friday after school with sample questions,
his co-president Eddie Gonnet, the club’s advisor Alyssa Whitney, and its
Trout serve as judges.
At districts, Hyuhn-Aoyama placed third in entrepreneurship, one of the more competitive
He says he’s felt the entrepreneurial pull since he was in first grade, selling silly bands at
school for allowance money. “I definitely want to get into it as a career,” he said.
Gonnet also did quite well, capturing first in principles of business management.
“I’m proud of the club and surprised at myself,” he said, in reaction to the results.
Gonnet said he was drawn to his event because, “I like CEOs and running a business.”
He may prepare for the same event next year or find a more specialized niche within it.
For club member David Ditata, the performance and competition aspect of the group is,
“really nerve-wracking when you think about it at the beginning, but comes together
when you do it.
Trout described struggling on one of the questions that she was asked in competition,
but said she was able to work with her partner to figure it out.
“It makes you think outside the box more,” Trout said.
Kathleen Dunn gave some insight into what the questions were like. One of her problems
in the food marketing services categories involved a moral decision on whether companies
should market misshapen vegetables.
She said the question forced her to “look at the outside world and the way you market can
really affect everyone involved.”
But the club goes beyond strictly business, bringing club members together around a common
interest that they might not otherwise be able to explore at ORR.
“Ryu and Eddie being co-presidents and their attitude definitely contributes to the club
being enjoyable,” Ditata said.
Brendan Burke joined the group because “a bunch of my friends were in it,” but also
because he hopes to go into business in college.
He appreciates the “community of being with friends and having fun times.”
Ditata also saw his school as a bit of an underdog. “I was really surprised when
that many people placed, seeing that we didn’t have business classes or years of
DECA also seems to see the lack of a business class as a stumbling block for the group,
and allowed it to start on the condition that the school has to have a business class within
Though Hyuhn-Aoyama only gets a year and a half or so with the club that he founded
, he is also “happy to leave DECA club as my legacy. It will help prepare kids for
post-high school life,” he said.
Top three finishers for the event include:
Brendan Burke, 1st Place in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series
Edward Gonet, 1st Place Principles of Business Management and Administration
Gwen Miedma, 2nd Place Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
Sean Lund, 2nd Place Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Samuel Harris, 2nd Place Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Amaya McLeod, 3rd Place Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Emily Dellicioppa, 3rd Place Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Ryu Hyuhn-Aoyama, 3rd Place Entrepreneurship-
Theodore Carroll, 3rd Place Hotel and Lodging Management Series
The qualifying members will head to the State competition in late February.
For community members who want to support DECA in its fundraising, the group
will hold two Feb. 12 spaghetti dinners in the high school cafeteria. Diners can be
served at 5 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale during school hours at the office.
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