Alexandria DECA students set record for number qualifying for the international competition

The International Career Development Conference will be taking place April 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.

DECA students
The Alexandria Area High School DECA students did very well at the state competition and will have 41 students competing at the International Career Development Conference April 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Contributed photo

ALEXANDRIA – The Alexandria Area High School DECA students reached a school record with 41 students qualifying for the International Career Development Conference. The conference will be taking place April 23-26 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The ICDC is the culmination of the DECA year for these business students. More than 19,000 high school students, teacher-advisors, business professionals and alumni gather for several days of DECA excitement, according to the ICDC website.

Nearly 90 AAHS DECA students competed at the Minnesota State Career Development Conference in Minneapolis March 6-8.

“It was exciting to have students competing in-person against 2,000 students from 60-plus high schools,” said Eric Hartmann, DECA and business teacher at AAHS.

PrideOfLakes 2505.jpg
From left, Zach Frederiksen, Madeline Boe, and Emily Barten interview Douglas County residents about shopping at local businesses for a DECA project they presented at the state level.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press

Hartmann said the Alexandria DECA Chapter performed “extremely well” with 59 individual finalists. Of those 59, he said 41 qualified for the ICDC competition in April.


“This is a record number of ICDC qualifiers at AAHS and speaks to the leadership of our seniors to withstand 18 months of virtual DECA competitions,” he said.

During the state competition in Minneapolis, there were three state champions, three second-place finishers, four third-place and five fourth-place finishers.

DECA is a school-sponsored club that encourages students to explore their future career opportunities and prepares them for the professional world.

The organization prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management around the globe.

First place winners.
The first place team in the Shark Tank event, which is for DECA students, included, front row, from left, Colin Reilly, Hailie Kent and Tyler Bright. They each received a $4,000 scholarship. They are pictured with the judges, from left, Tim Bush, Lisa Juettner, Kyle Athey and Andrew Cavers.
Contributed photo


The DECA state results for Alexandria are listed below with the name of the event, student name and the place received listed.

  • Gold chapter – Grayson Grove, Nick Borden and Sophia Korynta, 5th
  • School-based enterprise – Joaquim Ramos, Kylie Lattimer and Maddie Husfeldt, 7th
  • Apparel and accessories – Tai Auran, 6th
  • Human resources – Elena Fuglestad, 11th
  • Marketing communications – Aisling O’Connor, 4th
  • Quick serve – Brynn Kosters, 2nd
  • Retail merchandising – Charlotte Lempka, 8th
  • Retail merchandising – Sidney Johnson, 5th
  • Sports and entertainment – Aleah Miller, 6th
  • Buying and merchandising – Zach Gundberg and Will Heydt, 9th
  • Buying and merchandising – Maddie Boe and Zach Frederiksen, 11th
  • Buying and merchandising – Thomas Klecker and Sam Peterson, 7th
  • Entrepreneurship – Lilly Thul and Peter Sansted, 10th
  • Finance – Grady Anderson and Maxton Meyer, 5th
  • Hospitality – Ben Swedberg and Kylie Lattimer, 4th
  • Hospitality – Erika Zick and Hailie Kent, 11th
  • Marketing – Sonja Schabel and Gabby Staples, 6th
  • Sports entertainment – Erik Hedstrom and Grayson Grove, 9th
  • Travel and tourism – Wyatt Odland and Myles Sansted, 5th
  • Travel and tourism – Selby Olson and Maddie Husfeldt, 3rd
  • Independent business plan – Tiahna Goeke, Makiah Haug and Geneva Reemts, 12th
  • Startup business plan – Julia Nelson, 12th
  • Integrated marketing campaign (service) – Nick Borden and Dylan Kraker, 12th
  • Financial consulting – Aisling O’Connor, 2nd
  • Hospitality professional selling – Alexa Eggebraaten, 10th
  • Business operations research (Alexandria Police Department) – Myles Sansted, Lillian Thul and Wyatt Odland, 1st
  • Business operations research (Alexandria Public Schools) – Taeran Peterson, Jack Theien and Erik Schabel, 4th
  • Business operations research (Alomere Health) – Maxton Meyer, Zach Gundberg and Grady Anderson, 5th
  • Buying and merchandising operations research (Aagard) – Ben Borden, Erika Zick and Sidney Johnson, 3rd
  • Buying and merchandising operations research (Swedberg Wood Products) – Drew Swedberg, Ben Swedberg and Ryan Meuwissen, 9th
  • Finance operations research (Ameriprise) – Colin Reilly, Hailie Kent and Tyler Bright, 7th
  • Finance operations research (Bremer Bank) – Thomas Klecker, Sam Peterson and Pieter Mulder, 3rd
  • Hospitality and tourism operations research (Knute Nelson) – Lauren Rebrovich, Kathrine Allen-Opp and Erik Hedstrom, 4th
  • Sports and entertainment operations research (Alexandria Area YMCA) – Dulce Bakker, Brennan Lattimer and Carson Froke, 5th
  • Business solutions – Tai Auran, Peter Sansted and Erika Zick, 2nd
  • Community awareness – Maddie Boe, Emily Barten and Zach Frederiksen, 1st
  • Community giving – Brynn Kosters, Aisling O’Connor and Izzy Kent, 3rd
  • Financial literacy – Kya Christopherson, Matthew Jiang and Zander Roemer, 4th
  • Sales project – Grace Wink, Alexa Eggebraaten and Kelly Johnson, 1st
Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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