Alexandria Area High school classroom dedicated to retired business teacher Ellsworth Holm

Holm taught business and was a DECA advisor at Jefferson High School in Alexandria for about 30 years

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Ellsworth Holm shows his family the plaque that will be affixed to the entrance of a classroom named in his honor at Alexandria Area High School Friday. (Lowell Anderson / Echo Press)

After many years of teaching business and being a Distributive Education Clubs of America advisor in Alexandria, Ellsworth Holm was honored for his contributions by having a classroom at the high school named after him.

In a ceremony at the Alexandria Area High School on Friday, July 16, surrounded by friends, family and students, Holm talked about the importance of the Distributive Education Clubs of America, also known as DECA, for both himself and his students.

“DECA has done so much for me,” Holm said. “It gave me such a rewarding experience in teaching and working.”

However, while advising students in the club, which aims to prepare students for a variety of business careers, he noticed a problem. Students would often easily advance through the district competitions, but sometimes didn’t have the money to go to state or international contests. So Holm recently decided to donate $25,000 to the AAHS DECA Foundation.

“Hopefully, now, with the DECA endowment fund, the interest being earned will be able to provide this opportunity,” He said. “That’s the reason I gave it.”


Holm, who is now 89, spent about 30 years teaching at Alexandria’s Jefferson High School before retiring in the mid 1990s. Although he is currently 89 years old, he is still involved with helping students and also works with Geneva Capital to run the annual Shark Tank event.

“You make really good things happen,” said Geneva Capital CEO Mark Watkins at the classroom dedication. You’ve been a great inspiration to me on how to live a good life and how to live a giving life. We know there are thousands of students out there that you’ve impacted.”

A plaque with Holm’s name will be affixed to the window of the classroom on the third floor in and Business Academy at the school.

“Every student is going to know Ellsworth Holm,” added business and DECA teacher Eric Hartmann.

Lowell Anderson has been a photographer and writer at the Echo Press since 1998.
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